Writing services you can offer corporate clients

Writing services you can offer corporate clients

Excerpt from Everything You Wanted To Know About Freelance Writing: How to Develop Article Ideas and Sell Them to Newspapers and Magazines & How to Find, Price and Manage Corporate Writing Assignments – http://www.paullima.com/books/

I have included a brief description of many writing services to help you determine whether they are services you can, or want to, offer. And I’ve included the department or person (job title) within the corporation who is most likely responsible for assigning the work. The list is comprehensive but not exhaustive…

Media releases: This is one of the most common forms of corporate writing. You can see sample media releases online at http://www.cnw.ca/en. (This is also a good place to find companies that issue media releases and to look for contacts who might hire you to write media releases or other documents.) The person who writes the release does not always issue it, but there are opportunities to add value to your writing services if you want to issue releases as well. To issue releases, you need to build a database of local, regional, national, and possibly international media contacts. (The Web makes this easier than ever to do, but it still takes work to do it.) You keep this database up-to-date and send releases by email, fax, or mail to appropriate contacts.

Articles for employee newsletters, newspapers, magazines, websites or email: Human resources departments have to communicate policies and procedures to all employees. Sales and marketing managers have to motivate their sales forces. Lowly employees have to be kept in the loop to stay motivated. Whenever new technology is introduced, or new business directions are charted, communication is vital. Most of this internal communication is done in employee newsletters, newspapers, magazines, brochures and websites, or by email. The writing is often handled by human resources, the corporate communications department, or the manager of the department concerned with whatever issue is being addressed. The writing is also frequently contracted out. Your job is to find out who is responsible (the point person) for assigning the work, and then make contact with that person. (More on how to do so later.)

Articles/documents for stakeholder newsletters, magazines, websites: Companies communicate with stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, vendors, and investors. The material may go out in a newsletter or magazine, by email, or on a website (often in a password-protected space on the company website where stakeholders can read about the latest developments, new products, special offers, etc.). If you are interested in this type of writing, you need to find the right contact person (often sales or marketing, public relations or the external communications department) and connect with that person.

Articles, case studies, blog posts, and other copy for corporate websites: As with the above, this kind of information is generally intended for stakeholders. However, the public, employees, and media frequently devour it as well. The main contacts can be corporate communications, external communications, or a senior executive managing a major department and working in co-operation with corporate or external communications.

Google ads, banner ads, and landing pages: Coordinated by marketing, companies often contract out the writing of the short ads that appear on Google (and other search engines), banner ads that appear on websites, and the landing pages—the pages that readers are taken to when they click on ads.

Social media (tweets, blog copy, social media profiles): Coordinated by marketing, companies often contract out the writing of blog copy and Twitter tweets, as well as profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and other social networking sites.

Direct mail promotions; print, radio, or TV advertisements; infomercial scripts: Advertising material is usually meant to generate sales or customer traffic. Advertising may be coordinated by marketing. The writing is often contracted out to an advertising agency. Think like an entrepreneur here. Since some ad agencies contract out writing, who might they contract it to? Why not you? If you have the ability to write ad copy or direct mail brochures, this can be a lucrative market.

Product/services promotional brochures, spec sheets, price lists: Supplementary or collateral material to support the advertising effort; again, frequently coordinated by the marketing department.

Proposals: Agencies, organizations, groups, and companies are constantly seeking funding from government departments or agencies, service clubs, corporations, and other organizations. For instance, not-for-profit organizations in Ontario often seek funds from the Trillium Foundation, an agency at arm’s length from the government that administers the disbursement of lottery funds. Film companies often seek funding from Telefilm Canada and other government agencies that fund feature films in Canada. Most social service organizations apply for funding on an annual basis. Many community groups appeal to corporations for funds to support the arts or local projects. Groups seeking funding require writers to generate proposals. This type of writing is often contracted out.

RFQs, tenders, bids, sales proposals: Companies often contract out the writing of requests for quotes or proposals (RFQs or RFPs), replies to RFQs and RFPs, and the writing of tenders, bids, and sales proposals. The purchasing or accounting department is a good place to start, although individual departments may be responsible for generating their own material, particularly the sales and marketing department.

Recruitment advertisements, job descriptions: Companies have to hire. To do so, they produce job descriptions and recruitment ads. Some freelancers write nothing but recruitment ads and job descriptions. It helps if you know a bit about HR and labour laws to write such material, but that is not always required.

Recruitment letters, email, brochures, websites: Before the dot-com and technology meltdown, high-tech companies were spending tens of thousands of dollars producing recruitment information. Pick a sector that is hot and hiring and you will find companies spending money to recruit new graduates and to cherry-pick employees from other companies.

Training manuals, videos, multimedia programs: Once a company hires new employees, it has to orient and train them. The production of training and recruitment material is primarily a human resources function. It may be coordinated by human resources for consistency, but left up to individual departments within some organizations to create. The writing of scripts may be contracted out to freelancers.

Corporate histories, company profiles, and executive bio/profiles: Written for websites, brochures, annual reports, shareholder, or investor videos, these are generally handled by corporate communications and are often contracted out.

Annual and quarterly reports: Writing annual and quarterly reports involves gathering information from a variety of sources for inclusion in the reports. While annual reports include a great deal of dry financial information, they also contain corporate histories, company and department profiles, executive profiles, forward-looking or visionary statements, product information, etc. The writing is often coordinated by corporate communications.

Ghost writing (speeches): This may be handled by corporate communications or the assistant of the executive giving the speech. Speeches may be given at share-holder meetings, sales and marketing events, conferences and trade shows, employee functions, customer appreciation events, convoca-tions, political forums, and a full range of other occasions. The speeches have to be written. Why not by you?

Ghost writing (articles under byline of executives): Written for trade publications or newspapers, these articles can be handled by external communications, public relations, or marketing—depending on the nature of the publication and the topic. Think like an entrepreneur. Look at trade publications for articles written by company executives, including guest columns or regular columns. These are most likely ghost written. Find out who placed the article and offer your services.

White papers: Industry-specific papers that address trends, systems, methodologies, and technologies. Tend to be long, research-intensive documents. May be initiated by marketing or senior executives.

Editing: All this writing needs to be edited. Often the writer is expected to do it; in some companies, writing is done in-house but is farmed out to an editor for final review.

Other services you can offer: Communications consulting, strategic planning, business and report writing seminars, and media interview preparation workshops… It all depends on your background, knowledge, and expertise. For instance, to earn passive income, I write books on business writing and freelance writing (www.paullima.com/books).

Excerpt from Everything You Wanted To Know About Freelance Writing: How to Develop Article Ideas and Sell Them to Newspapers and Magazines & How to Find, Price and Manage Corporate Writing Assignments – http://www.paullima.com/books/

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