The How-To Guide for School Communications Directors

Posted on Dec 6, 2018 in Blog, Fundamentals

Some of the days in your many-layered job, you’ll spend time as a writer/editor. Here are 18 essential survival tips for the 5 selves in you:

The Egotist

  • Be a reader first and an editor second and a writer third. Listen and then give it your own touch.
  • Pick your fights. If you have to build your ego, take up martial arts. Advocate for your readers and their rights to the TRUE facts and all sides of a story. All else follows.
  • Impose your standards, not your personal style, and know that many voices speak as loud as one.

The Big Spender

  • Know what it costs—like the expense of missing deadlines and author’s alterations.
  • Don’t lobby for glitz—go for substance. Stretch your budget through careful planning.
  • Spend time and money finding new, better sources and suppliers. Be on the lookout for the best talent.
  • Negotiate contracts and get things in writing.

The Nerd

  • Develop a proofreading system and take time for the details or you may regret it.
  • Read all heads, blurbs and captions and evaluate how interesting they are. If they bore you, guess who else they’ll bore.
  • Critique your work and compete with yourself to do even better next time.

The Nurturer

  • Spend money for your—and your staff’s—professional development and inspiration. Refresh your creativity.
  • Spend time and money to go out to your readers. You need direct feedback face to face.
  • Tolerate the needy complainer; nurture your creative staff and freelancers.

The Creator

  • Read books, go to galleries, take classes. Develop your creative self.
  • Take time off from your left brain to free associate. Build flights of fancy into your schedule.
  • Practice writing, even using correspondence, memos and journal entries as vehicles of self-expression. Everything you write is important.
  • Make friends in the profession. You need colleagues; you can find them at conferences and reunions.
  • You transmit culture, knowledge and values. You are more than your dreams. You do important work.

Advice by Carol Cheney and the late Marsha Scott Gori.