August 15, 2017 How people skills deliver better content

By Emma Hardy

group of people discussing project in the office

Writers get a bad rep. They’re seen as those kooky creatives who spend their time curled up writing witty one-liners. At Avion Communications, that stereotype is far from true. While we take content writing seriously (and we’re not bad at the one liners, either), we believe in doing everything with a human focus. From the words we write to the way we interact clients, we always put relationships front and centre. Why? Because it gets better results.

Recently, we wrapped up a large-scale digital transformation with AITSL (you can read more about what we did in our case study). The project required us to transform dense, academic content into easily scannable user-friendly copy. We’re well-versed when it comes to writing content that resonates with real web users, but that’s not the only skill we brought to the table. We also brought valuable people-skills.

Bring human-centric design to stakeholder management

AISTL had six internal departments who all had stakes in the new web content. Bringing a copywriter in purely to rewrite the content would have been a total disaster. AITSL needed copywriters and content strategists who would listen to each internal team’s needs and translate them into user-centric web content.

When their ReWeb team brought Avion on board, we decided to take a human-centric approach to the project. We spent the first few days meeting with different internal teams, listening to their concerns and getting to know them. Rather than diving straight into the content, we put the people first.

Forget multitasking, start multi-teaming

The value of multitasking is known by anyone whose worked on a big project with lots of moving parts. At Avion, we’re also for the value of multi-teaming. We like to come into projects like a missing cog in a soon-to-be-well-oiled machine. That means that we’re constantly rotating between different teams for the benefit of the entire project. The more interaction we have between different departments, the better we can keep things moving.

However, to make multi-teaming effective, there needs to be one point of call for any given project. While our work at AITSL allowed us to move seamlessly between multiple teams, assigning one manager authority over approving content for a team helped streamline the process. We discussed each page with the stakeholders and encouraged everyone’s input, but sign-off was delegated to one person—the product owner. Working collaboratively within that structure helped us get the most out of everyone’s expertise without creating blockages.

Just like AITSL, we’ve had fantastic results multi-teaming with Suncorp and ANZUK. At Suncorp, we play a pivotal role moving content between marketing, legal and SEO to ensure the best outcomes for every stakeholder. And at ANZUK, we collaborate with internal teams and external experts—including other marketing and SEO agencies—to make the best use of every person’s expertise on a given project.

Hire a copywriter with people skills

Large projects can suffer when they don’t make the most of our best resource—people. When you hire a sole trader to write your content, chances are they lack experience working with and managing large teams. Investing in content specialists who have a human-focus from briefing to execution is the best way to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

We’re so proud of the way we’ve managed to put people first that we’ve even made kindness and transparency two of our core values. The benefits of listening to our clients and being totally transparent about the work we do for them is abundantly clear. Open communication helps us set realistic expectations, clear budgets and assign better workflow. It’s one of the reasons we’ve never missed a deadline.

Remember, behind every piece of user-friendly content are the friendly people who made it.

Take a look at AITSL’s new website and discover the benefits of a human-centric work ethic for yourself.