Writing a compelling and coherent message might sound as easy as pie. Yet, the truth is that it can be as difficult as something completely unrelated to baked goods.
Content is King but if writing good content was as easy as sitting down in front of the keyboard then no-one would ever produce misleading, incomplete or stale communication about security awareness topics.
However, getting the right message across in the best way possible is a huge issue when it comes to raising information security awareness, influencing behavioural change and getting everyone on the same page. The following are 5 of the best reasons for giving this job to a copywriter rather than ploughing through it yourself.
Avoid Too Much Technical Language
One of the big risks when an expert writes about their specialist subject is that it can get far too technical and –frankly – boring. It can be far too easy to slip in technical phrases and those dreaded acronyms that no-one else, bar other security professionals, understands.
Do you know what people do when they come across a document or memo that is written in an overly technical way? That’s right; their eyes glaze and they start to wonder who will win Celebrity Masterchef in the Jungle or whether they need to get their toenails trimmed.
The good things about bringing in an outside copywriter is that they will automatically come at the subject from the same sort of level of knowledge as the average end user who ends up reading it.
Bring the Subject to Life
Even if you manage to steer clear of technical words, do you worry that the subject itself is too dry for people to pay much attention to? Do you have this horrible vision of your end users reading that the first few lines are about information security awareness and tuning themselves out?
A good copywriter who has an extensive freelance writing background will be experienced in bringing even the dullest subject to life. Once you have written about washing machine parts and the benefits of recycled shoelaces then information security subjects are a walk in the park.
Expect a quality copywriter to bring your material to life with analogies, humour and anything else that you ask them to include.
You could view your information security communication as being like a marketing campaign that needs to get people interested in something that they have never really bothered about before. By bringing it to life you can make it easier for them to start taking an interest in it.
Make Everything Clear
A loosely worded piece of communication can lose a lot of its impact and can even end up being completely misleading. This is a particularly important issue when you are writing about things that directly affect the information security behaviour in your company.
Even a single piece of incorrect grammar or badly structured bullet points can send your message in the wrong direction.
A good example of this came when researchers were looking into the reasons why the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry in 2003. It turned out that one of the factors was a poorly structured PowerPoint presentation that made it difficult for people who read it to fully understand the risks of re-entry.
Get a Consistent Writing Tone
People tend to find it easier to read work documents when there is a clear and consistent tone to them. This means that if you are going to be sending out regular updates on information security then you will want to find a consistent way of presenting the details that you then stick to.
This can be tricky for anyone who isn’t an experienced writer. It can be even more difficult if there are a few different people who write the documents and each has their own style.
By bringing in a copywriter you can get a consistent tone that your readers can get used to. This means that there is a far better chance of them grasping the subject matter and then doing something about it.
Don’t Delay or Waste Your Time
Can you imagine yourself sitting down and rattling out some documents that let your end users know more about the approach they should be taking to information security? If you like the idea of writing for employee consumption then it is time to be honest and admit if you are good at it.
If you do enjoy it and are good at it then it is probably the time factor that is holding you back.
Let’s face it, when there are approximately 437 other things to do then it is easy to put this task onto the backburner indefinitely. This means that you could end up delaying and delaying until the information is out of date or robots have taken over the planet and none of this even matters anymore.
The other possibility is that you squeeze this task into your day somehow and end up regretting it because it takes too long. If you are aren’t used to writing this kind of thing then you could find that it takes up far more of your time than is really justified by the end result.
Could you use your time more effectively by sticking to your main strengths and leaving this matter to someone else?
If you want to send out quality communication every time then leave it to the writing experts, while you concentrate on what you do best.
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