“Are our blades any good? No. Our blades are f***ing great.”

What an intro. It reminds me of Michael Yon explaining how a soldier had put up a sign saying, “Don’t stand up here. The last guy who did got shot.” That’s how corporate communications ought to be: straight and fast.

I was working at State Farm on one of their many communications teams when a request came for us to write a memo from a manager to his underlings. The memo was supposed to tell them to take the quiz that he’d just created. To their credit, (this team was excellent) they asked me, the intern, what my thoughts were. So, there I was, consulting on communications. Time to shine.

“How about we start out with ‘I need you  to take a 10-minute quiz’?”

Einstein Genius Demotivational Poster

That’s what we put at the beginning. I think it got mellowed out during the approval process–pushed back a bit from the front, but I was proud of the straight-forwardness I’d created. There was the “what does this mean for me?” right at the beginning.

There has to be a level of “what’s in it for me” in a training video. Mine was directed at interns, so I had all sorts of ideas because, well, I was one. I immediately started to draw from what I enjoyed watching. Things started taking shape. I turned in a copy to my manager. People got all sorts of impressed. And Bob’s your uncle.

Writing a training script for a corporation is a very involved process. You have to get approval, and go through legal, and blah, blah, blah… However, getting it through and then having a tech team take it over to make a real thing is quite the feeling.

The very first script I’d ever written was accepted and made into a video. At first I wondered if the tech team just didn’t know what they were doing. Honestly, I was that surprised, even skeptical. But it turns out I had stumbled onto corporate communications gold.

I didn’t have the corporate-speak mentality. I had not, in fact, drank the kool-aid.

Storytelling vs. Corporate Speak

“If you’re not being over-edited, you’re not doing your job as a writer.” –Guy I met with once.

I would stay here and lolligag, but that’s all I wanted to share. If you’re writing for corporate communications, remember to keep it short and swe


About owenpm3

I'm a student at USU majoring in Technical & Professional writing.
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