Editing Principle 09: Knowing Your Best Angle

Are you most effective when reminding people of things they already know (and value)? Or are you in the business of asking people to believe something new?

This one's more of an issue for clients who are coming up with their communications or brand strategy, and I’ll only deal with it in broad strokes here.

Basically this question is important because which side you fall on has repercussions for your eventual structure—be it website text, white paper, etc.

If the big question above seems unanswerable at the moment—because you just don’t know—you might start here, with these below, and see if you’ve any more clarity after answering these:

  1. Who's going to read this?

  2. Why? (You can’t know. But a good guess is useful.)

  3. What do I want them to remember most?

  4. Am I / are we willing to risk being misunderstood or criticized if the upshot is more attention overall?

Possible 5th question, which is really a series of questions under this large umbrella: What reactions have we had to our communications in the past, and are we happy with those reactions?

Megan Hustad