What do Corporate Writing Clients Really Want? Hint – It’s Not About the Writing.

I see a lot of advice out there about landing big corporate clients but I haven’t seen any that talks about what happens after.  There’s a lot about finding those clients but not much about what they really need when you get right down to it.

The biggest thing to know is that you’re not working with a big corporate entity – you’re working with a person.

Yes, that person may have a huge budget and a high profile company on her mind but what I have found again and again is that customer service is what turns those companies into repeat customers.

Internal communications managers are busy. They’re trying to juggle a million projects, advising leadership on how to communicate effectively with employees, finding ways to encourage employees to provide input, planning events and meetings, providing strategic advice and tactful feedback, all against a backdrop of corporate change, politics and budget cuts.

What they need is someone who can help them out by confidently and competently taking something off the to do list. What that really means is that it doesn’t begin and end with the writing.

When you write something for a client in a large corporate, you need to be able to synthesize a ton of other material and ensure your piece fits into the overall landscape. You have to be able to offer constructive suggestions about how to tie things together more closely.  You also need to be aware that corporate work often involves a number of  approvals and being willing to follow up with different people and coordinating their suggestions can be a great help to a client.

On top of that, you  serve in the role of “outsider”  so often you’re in a perfect position to be able to (gently) point out where employees might feel they’re getting contradictory or partial messages and prod work towards better effectiveness.

So you provide real service not by being the most amazing writer in the world  but by listening, supporting and taking the initiative to move their projects forward in a constructive way.

And that’s the real secret.

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