The Writer's Guide to Corporate Communications
"An incredible sourcebook for anyone who's working to build a career or a business in corporate communications. As someone who's been on both sides of the desk, I feel that Moreno delivers one of the first and finest how-to books on the subject."
"Her enthusiasm about the corporate communications business is apparent from page one. And so is her knowledge about the field. The Writer's Guide to Corporate Communications isn't just a book of theories...it's filled with expert advice for what works (and what doesn't) in real-world situations. If you're looking for a guide through the world of corporate communications, you'll want Mary Moreno by your side."
"Everyone from wannabees to seasoned professionals will benefit from The Writer's Guide to Corporate Communications. It's a comprehensive look at a complicated subject written by a true expert in the field."
Corporate communications can take the form of a printed piece, a video, a slide show or living theater, but only a living writer can provide the copy, the script or the speech. And a good corporate writer--one who brings fresh, new ideas to these assignments while understanding the corporate culture--will always be in demand. Even when corporations are cutting back on expenses such as advertising, they still need to communicate internally.
For "serious" writers, who may think promoting corporate objectives is beneath their art, I would point out that it beats slaving away at some drudge job while you're waiting to sell your novel or your screenplay or your short story collection. And while some believe it's impossible to spend the day writing corporate copy and the evening/night hours writing fiction, I disagree. It is much tougher to turn on the computer after waiting tables all day. In fact, if you freelance and work at home, chances are the computer will already be up and running and waiting for you when you're ready to turn to your own projects. I write both fiction and music in my "spare" time, and find I'm always more productive when I'm busy with corporate work.
Another career benefit is that writing to order helps fine-tune your skills. Plot, dialogue, characterization, description and motivation all come into play in corporate communications, they're just used a little differently than in fiction. And it's a great opportunity to practice the art of discipline--so necessary to any writer's work habits. Meeting deadlines, dealing with criticism, re-writing and then re-writing some more, all contribute to your professional skills, building a firm foundation in discipline as well as instilling self-confidence.
If you can write an effective sales meeting proposal, you can write an effective book proposal or magazine article query. If you spend enough time writing corporate videos, when you sit down to write a screenplay you will already have mastered the art of telling a story with action instead of words. Taking part in a corporate pitch meeting is good training for pitching your own work to an agent.
So how do you get involved in corporate writing? Some companies employ staff writers, but many hire freelancers by the project. The advantages of working on staff are obvious: regular paychecks, medical and other insurance, expense accounts. However, at the salary level of a staff writer, companies don't usually pay overtime and the demands of most corporate projects are such that you can find yourself spending your days sitting in meetings and your nights and weekends actually writing your projects. The company owns you and you don't have much of a life.
On the other hand, freelance offers freedom, but not much in the way of security. Clients may take up to 30 days or more before paying your invoices and no one is footing your dental bills but you. But if you're organized and ambitious, you'll be getting paid by the hour for all those nights and weekends of work, and when you're not busy you can take in the less-crowded matinees of the current hot movies. You also get to stay at home and work in your bathrobe.
But before you can land an assignment, you need the credentials to convince the client that you're the right writer for the job. You need to have samples of your work to show them. And that's where my book, The Writer's Guide to Corporate Communications, comes in. In Part I you will learn how to create your own proposals, treatments and scripts for a variety of corporate projects. If you follow the instructions faithfully and work out all the exercises, you will develop your own portfolio of writing samples to help you land an assignment. Part II will take a look at the business side of freelancing and offers advice on how to succeed. So grab a legal pad or a laptop and get ready to put your creativity to work.