The Value of the Client Interview

Writing the copy for websites, brochures, fact sheets, blogs, and press releases is a straightforward process. An experienced writer can whip up a first draft in short order, if that person knows what the client expects to achieve. In other words, what’s your point? We’re not mind readers, though some clients seem to expect that!

It is exceedingly important to have a discussion with the business executive—not a text exchange or simple email conversation—a dialog in real time. Why is this imperative? Here are a few primary reasons:

What Do you Really Mean? People who have worked in a business for several years tend to speak in jargon, using a vocabulary specific to their industry. In some cases, we’ll be able to figure out what a term means, but often, I’ll need to interrupt the conversation to ask.

Who is the Audience? Whether a small business is trying to reach other types of businesses, residential customers, or other segments of the world at large, writers need to consider the target in writing any communication. Education and literacy levels vary, and it might be very different composing web pages intended for college postgraduates vs. the general population or even primary care doctors vs. cancer specialists. Our job is to make the message understandable for the intended audience(s).

Why Is This Important? Clients may assume people understand the value of an independent insurance agency or of a financial fiduciary, but the general population? Don’t count on it. Spell it out for us, please!

Taking the Journalistic Approach. Knowing the when, what, why, and how of the piece is always useful context to have in writing business communications. Even if all of these elements are not used, it will give writers like me a better sense of the message to be conveyed.

All these points are critical to producing copy that is successful in satisfying the client and reaching the target audience. However, this doesn’t require a 45-minute interview. Generally, we can obtain the main points in 20 minutes or less, and maybe ask a texted question or two along the writing journey.

Contact Revisions to learn more about how we can help you address your writing needs. 

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