Is emotional writing any good for the office?

Today it appears there’s an endless flood (pardon the pun) of books, articles, blogs, etc on the subject of traumatic life experiences.  The resultant accompanying wads of soggy Kleenex, deep thoughts and emotional responses are surely just for the privacy of one’s own home – aren’t they?  Well, maybe not.

I find more and more clients asking me to write ‘real life’ text.  Words that really ‘come from the heart’, that will ‘speak to people’ and even (I know, I’m sorry) ‘reach out’ to readers.  I agree most of us are totally uninterested in reading ‘corporate speak’ and, equally, are turned off by reams of text purporting ANO company is the best thing since sliced bread but can’t provide any facts to back up their boast.  But the question is how to write these deep and meaningful messages without sounding like an Oprah Winfrey show?

One way is to get the owner/MD to talk about a subject they are passionate.  It needn’t necessarily be work related – just something they love and want to talk about.  From this discussion you get a good idea of how they want to inspire their employees and customers. With luck, and some skilful writing, we can use this insight to help produce copy that’s a tad more interesting than the usual blah, blah, we did this, we did that routine.

Another useful hint is to get as many citations as possible about an organisation and/or its products.  Why employees like working there, good customer experiences, partners who feel appreciated or suppliers who enjoy dealing with them.  Weaving these comments along with photos, logos and links to other sites into the copy makes it far more alive and real to a reader.  After all, the aim is to get a reaction and hopefully your inclusion of the human face and voice will elicit this response.