The 5 Ws + HOW

Sit down and begin to pull together a business plan, mission statement, professional introductory email, business-related text messages, informative YouTube clip, making the choice for your business’ name; and you’re faced with three truths:

* writing isn’t as easy as it appears

* everything matters

* it’s not only what you think you want to say; but, to whom, what, where, when, why and how

While any of the aforementioned endeavors can employ many mediums – i.e. video, film, radio, TV and so on – it’s likely that, at some stage, writing is crucial to the process of creating your message. Brainstorming. Whiteboards. Drafting. Formulating. Editing. Proofreading. Final content.

With that in mind, recall the first time you were under deadline and staring at a blank piece of paper or that flashing indicator on an empty screen. Dwelling too long on that memory might cause cold sweats and elevated heart rate. However, recalling that visceral experience can, also, be today’s lesson.

What your body was telling you is that you’re invested in doing the work and hitting that target with your best shot.

To convey your message always takes planning and planning equals time – whether the amount of time is an hour, day, a week or, even, years.

Because you’re invested in doing the work and hitting that deadline with your best work, everything matters. Do not edit your ideas and impulses. Be fearless. Be ridiculous. Be silly. Be serious. Be thorough. Eventually, you’ll reduce your information to become the most accurate, clear, concise, creative and effective, according to your goals, intentions and audience.

Finally, the content of and medium for your message must take into consideration the 5 Ws + HOW.

* WHO – To whom are you conveying your message? Who’s your audience?

* WHAT – What do you want them to know or learn or feel or do?

* WHERE – In what context/where are they receiving your message?

* WHEN – When are they receiving your message?

* WHY – Why are they receiving your message?

* HOW – How do you want them to respond or what do you want them to do after receiving your message?

When you’ve answered the above questions, begin to refine and repeat until you hit your target. Remember, this process requires regular reviews, readjustments, refreshing, and repeating.

Good luck!

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