23 May Hiring an outside writer: more things to consider
Why hiring an outside communications writer is an investment in change
(This blog post is part two of Sarah Banks guest post.) Thanks Sarah. So…if you are the in-house special, does that make me the out-house special? Back to fundraising/communications writing outsourcing….
I work with some amazing clients. Seriously. And every day I am amazed at what they accomplish within a tight budget, sometimes through sheer will power and passion. My goal is to come into their organization and take tasks off their desk: if I’m not making their life easier, why the heck am I charging them for my services? Here’s my take on why you should outsource your communications and/or fundraising writing.
A fresh new perspective Do you reach for your “tried and true” phrases that outline your mission each time you write a press release, thank you letter or annual report?
If your informational brochure is more than one year old, chances are it doesn’t reflect what your organization is about today. Hiring a fresh pair of outside eyes to rewrite some core communications materials can be a great way to bring new perspective to the amazing impact your organization is having in your community. There are a lot of reasons why “new ideas” might not be percolating in your in house writing staff :political climate, lack of appetite for new stories or other innovation challenges. If you’re short on budget, get the most bang for your buck by hiring outside help to write a central document (informational flyer, corporate brochure, landing page on website) that can be rewritten and retweaked 25 times for 25 different places. Not exactly sure what I mean? Check out Kivi Leroux Miller’s blog post about telling stories that you can retweak for other places.
Move your sights up and “out of the weeds” It’s hard to focus on the big picture when you are scrambling to get to the next deadline. Paying someone to help you with key communications tools means you are investing in change. Try to be open to suggestions, think as long term as you can, and ask your outside writer lots of questions. They are there to help you and your organization see the bigger picture. In particular, I think outside writers can help with messaging: getting your organization to start looking, sounding and feeling like who they want to be.
Clear some space in your day The simplest way to get something off your desk is to outsource it. You may not have the time to focus on your annual report in the middle of preparing twelve other things. It’s a lot easier to edit than to create from scratch. Get that project moving by hiring some help.
My conclusion: try to think of outside writing as an investment in change. If you’re looking for new inspiration, why not look in a new place?
Jenny Mitchell is a fundraising writer who is terribly curious about new things. She runs her own fundraising writing business – Chavender Research Initiatives Inc., and tweets as JennyChavender. She would love to talk to you about how she could help you and your organization “get out of the weeds.”