Creative Events Writers : Prima Donna or Undervalued Asset?

The latter—trust us. When executing BIG creative events, your writer is your liaison to message clarity and impact. They are your taste consultants on creative development, tonality and flow.  And, they can be your savior when an executive changes their mind at the last minute. Consider them the asset that keeps on giving. Third chapter of a 15-part White Paper series on BIG creative events production. Click “Contact” to request the FREE complete version.

Once the central messages are identified, draft an event production agenda that shows the optimal flow of topics from start to finish. Expect this to change continuously between the initial content strategy meeting and the actual event. The working agenda will enable you to begin alerting your executive presenters to “save the date.” Be sure to request their flexibility until the agenda is finalized. This is generally easier to ask of presenters from within rather than external speakers, whose commitment to your organization may be less obligatory.

1.  Assign writers.  In BIG creative events there may be one or several writers involved who work closely with the head of marketing or communications, to identify the key messages and ensure their consistency throughout the event. Creative events writers are alternately known as content developers. Writer-producer is the term generally applying to a writer who, in addition to writing copy may be responsible for creating the copy for slides and organizing all content meetings and rehearsals with speakers. Regardless of title, the creative events writer works with the presenter from first draft to final, and is responsible for making copy changes at the event. As soon as the content and speakers are finalized, assign the writer.

2.  Ensure Continuity.  The writer is responsible for ensuring content development consistency in theme, tone, message and facts—across all of the presentations during development. For this reason a close working relationship is required between the writer(s) and media producer, so that there is no break in continuity between the videos and live presentations. Every change that is requested by a presenter must be evaluated for its consistency with the established tone, message and facts. The writer must be able to quickly spot how a changed word or sentence in a presentation might require a change in a slide, and then see that that change gets made. The writer must also be aware how even a small change in one presentation could affect other presentations, and make changes or recommendations accordingly.

3.  Decide who gives final approvals. When it comes to final approval on presentations and slides, decide early in the planning process who will make that final call. Is it the presenter? The marketing manager? VP of Communications? Who gives the final nod may vary depending on the speaker. The person designated for approving content should be included in emails between the presenter and writer, seeing all drafts and slides that are generated in the process. Any content issues can thus be flagged early, rather than appearing as surprises onsite. And, whatever approvals you get … get them in writing. Please also note that writers are versatile, they can grasp a new subject and run with it like the wind. But, few writers have the deep-dive expertise to argue content points with presenters, and will need the full support of the point person who gives final content approval. This symbiotic relationship will ensure that even last minute changes are mitigated effectively. 

Let’s review 

1.  Assign writers   2. Ensure continuity with guidelines  3. Give power of approval