Writing is diverse: the fact that every organization wants to stand out virtually guarantees that every job will be unique. Even so, there are common elements—and Interplay Creative Media has discovered through its extensive experience that addressing each of these up-front saves time and helps to deliver a writing product that is on target. The Interplay Process for Creative Writing involves four steps, as follows.
When a client expresses a business need for writing, Interplay first seeks to clarify the scope of our own involvement:
- Will we be required to attend meetings, to work onsite, or to travel?
- Will we need any technological tools outside of our normal office equipment, such as recording devices, to complete the tasks?
- Is there an undirected research component?
- What are the expected deliverable items, and how did the client arrive at the decision to produce them?
- Will we be expected to work autonomously with other professionals (e.g. graphic designers) in determining the final shape of the products?
We then prepare an itemized estimate or quotation, based on either an hourly or per-task rate.
2. Information gathering
Investing in this stage is vital to getting the first draft on target—which saves considerable time in the revision stage. First, Interplay identifies subject-matter experts and, where appropriate, agrees with the client on an approval path for the deliverable items. In addition to gaining an understanding of the subject matter itself, we seek to clarify the underlying communications challenge:
- Who is the intended audience? Can they be segmented? What are their motivations and interests?
- What is their level of knowledge about the subject matter?
- Do they have any overt or hidden objections to the message?
- What does the client want them to think, feel or do?
- Has the client made any previous promises to this audience?
- Are there third parties that might attempt to capitalize on or distort the intended message?
In the case of speechwriting, targeted delivery also depends on understanding the speaker’s personal preferences and style. For this reason, we request an interview with the speaker directly whenever possible.
Drafting follows from the information-gathering stage, and is usually (but not always) a solitary process. Interplay writers are able to work either onsite or offsite as needed, and have experience in collaborative writing projects—particularly for large tasks that must be completed under tight deadlines. We aim to follow our client’s style guides and preferences, where possible, and reflect current corporate messaging on related topics.
Revision is an iterative process. Having clarified an approval path, we ensure that each new draft reflects the input from each approving officer, aiming to avoid repeating any approvals. We also maintain rigorous version-control and archiving systems to ensure that the work progresses in the face of interruptions, changes in scope or unexpected new information. At all times, we are open to communicating with our clients to ensure that the final product has the necessary impact. Finally, we welcome both positive and negative feedback that may help us improve our work. Contact us today for a no-fee consultation to discuss how your organization can better express itself through clear and persuasive writing.