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Friday, April 27, 2007

Writing power

One of the best ways for industry professionals and consultants (especially architects and engineers) to build their reputation and practice is to be published. Trade journal articles carry credibility; this is enhanced if you write a book. Articles and books lead to speaking engagements, media interviews, 'expert status' and bookable business.

Writing, of course, is a skill like most others. Some people are naturally good at it; others can develop acceptable results with some effort and still others simply can't write very well. The solution if you have good ideas but don't have the inclination or ability to write well is to work with someone with these talents. Good writing need not be very expensive; though obviously if you are not a capable judge of writing you should work with someone you know and trust in this regard.

As you develop your writing skills and markets, you'll see how your writing can be leveraged -- allowing one piece of work to 'multitask' saving you time and dramatically improving the impact of your efforts. For example, I recently wrote an article about complex bid requirements for our Ontario newspapers (as part of a marketing initiative involving the province's general contractors). I posted this article to my website, and my newsletter. The publisher of a wide-circulation electronic newsletter asked for permission to use it in his publication; when the B.C. construction association read the article in that newsletter, they called me for reprint permission as well. If you want to see the article, it is here.

Articles can be repackaged into book chapters; speeches, newsletters, marketing materials and more. One piece of good writing indeed can go a long way.

Next week, I'll be delving more closely into the business of construction writing, attending the annual convention of the Construction Writers Association in Washington D.C. on Thursday and Friday. This is after I somehow package together some 60 tabloid pages for our newspapers in Ontario, Canada and North Carolina -- as I fit in time to watch Ottawa Senators in the National Hockey League playoffs. Oh yeah, and produce our bi-weekly newsletter and this blog.

Thankfully, I enjoy writing.

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