The communications department is no longer considered just another bullpen of flaky slackers. Companies now see value-added dollar signs in them. Writers are in huge demand these days and a Golden Age may be upon us. It’s no exaggeration to assert that writers drive the progress of civilization. Without our skills, how can ideas be communicated?
But let’s not celebrate yet. Writers may be invaluable but they are also misunderstood.
As writers are added to a company’s rank and file, a problematic arises: how do you integrate writers with the rest of the staff. Writers are not an easy fit in corporate culture.
“Islands in the Stream / That is what we are” ... “And we rely on each other ah-ha” ... “And we can ride it together, ah-ha.” Remember that giant Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton hit? Sorry if the song is stuck in your head now, but we can see the corporation/writer relationship in it. Though instead of “love,” we have something like a “win-win” situation—no one can afford to be too misty-eyed here.
Progressive companies with enlightened management understand the care, handling, and retention of writers. There are five steps to enlightenment.
1. To get results, separate writers from the hum. Ideally, and whenever possible, a writing team’s office should be set apart from the rest of the company on another floor, or even in a different building. Invite them to the odd meeting, let them circulate among the rest of the staff as needed, but let them twirl their hair by themselves. No one needs to see this.
As writers acquire knowledge, they can exercise a powerful, and sometimes peculiar or even vulgar, sense of humour that may tend toward bitter at times. It’s best if they don’t fraternize too much with others. They need to think, ponder, and imagine.
Sadly, not all writers are courteous or professional. Some are temperamental and others are just long-winded, pompous asses. Some may not even be good. Alas, there are even a few ingrates among us. But, more often than not, we pull through for a fine finish.