Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Information leaflets: why you need to update them

When I some meet people starting in business I feel sorry for them when they talk about the small amount of writing they think they need to do.  There is this tendency in all of us to hope that you do a project and it's finished.  No further input required.

I've been thinking about how there's very little difference between that and developing good relationships with those we call friends or members of our family.  On one level it's good to be able to rely on them and in some measure take them for granted.  But too much of that can lead to a sudden blow up becasue we haven't been listening or taking care of something.  All because of us being busy with something else.

You know the kind of thing I mean...

... a simple request to take out the rubbish causes an eruption.

I found that a lot when I used to help clients with stress management problems.  Everything on the surface would be fine, then suddenly...

What has that to do with your business writing?

A lot... because it's something that happens to many new busnesses.  The sheer volume of things to do threatens to overwhelm you daily.  And though having informaiton to give out is important, there's too much of a wish to lean on and take for granted the information that's been written, two years, one year or even six months ago.

This morning I've been checking an information bulletin that one of my clients offers to people thinking of using their services.  I helped them put it together over two years ago.

The core of the information is fine.  But in two years, they've adjusted their staff structure swopping around responsibililities and roles.  My client is wise enough to realise the information needs a wash and brush up.  Of course she could carry on using it and some of the changes might pass over her clients' heads. 

On the other hand, it might lead to if not an eruption about the rubbish, questions about why something is written down that no longer is true.  Vital for the kind of business she's running where trust is a major issue.

And if trust doesn't figure as a major issue in yours, or you think it doesn't, then maybe taking another look at what you hand out to others might be sensible.

I'd hate to see you covered in rubbish.

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