By Jennigay Coetzer During my 30 years as a journalist, writer, editor and writing skills trainer I have picked up many tips and tricks and observed many problems that writers encounter. A common mistake with any written communication is to assume the reader will interpret what you are writing as you intend them to. This is […]

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Don’t be clever, be clear –

As novelist Stephen King once said, people use smart words because they are too ashamed of their simple ones.

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To get the best out of interacting with the media it is important for spokespeople to know the difference between their agendas and the agendas of the media interviewer and how to bridge the gap between the two.

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A major objective when writing an article is to attract the reader’s attention, pull them into the story and keep their attention throughout. To achieve this, it is important to choose a focused topic. This will keep you on track and avoid getting distracted and ending up with too many ideas in the article.

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I hope you like my latest writing tip – on preamble

Get to the point and make strong statements.

– Indulging in preamble will dilute the impact of what you are saying.

PS: You might also enjoy my latest writing tips article I have posted on my website: http://www.jennigay.co.za/blog/essential-tips-for-article-writers/

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Every article should have an objective behind it, it should focus on a clearly defined topic, and it should be written with a specific audience in mind. Without a clearly defined topic, you are likely to end up with too many ideas in your article, which will confuse your audience, and writing it will be a major challenge. Similar problems will arise if you don’t have a clear objective.

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Companies go to great lengths to get media coverage, but often don’t consider the risks associated with the exposure.

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 By Jennigay Coetzer Spokespeople might like to note that the saying “To assume makes an ass out of you and me” is particularly applicable to media interviews.   Human beings in general are notorious at making assumptions. We assume those we are communicating with are on the same wavelength as we are and are receiving […]

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One of the prerequisites of being a good writer is to have an enquiring mind and not take anything on face value. This is the only way to develop a real understanding of what they are writing about.

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Good writers have the target readers in mind when they write an article, as opposed to just focusing on what they want to say. When people read an article they are looking for what’s in it for them, and if they cannot see this quickly they will move on.

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If anyone says they were quoted out of context in the media, there is an 90% chance that it was their fault, due to lack of clarity, assumption, running on from one thought to another, and other factors that boil down to miscommunication during the media interview. Media training helps spokespeople to interact with journalists and other media interviewers more effectively.

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It is impossible to write a good article if the writer does not have a good understanding of the topic. To write an interesting article requires not taking anything on face value, making assumptions, or just regurgitating information found on some obscure blog.

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Most writers suffer from writer’s block at one time or another, but there are ways to overcome this. When I ask participants of the article writing workshops I run what their greatest challenges are with their writing, many of them will say they always get stuck on the opening sentence.

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Examples are a powerful way to clarify what you are saying when writing any type of article, because human beings don’t think in words. They think in pictures. So making strong statements in your articles and then putting them in context with examples will help to create a clearer picture in the minds of the target readers you are writing for.

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