• Karl Schmieder

You Have a GREAT LIFE SCIENCES STORY But Want to Tell It Better. Could These 6 Tips Help You?

“No one will ever write in just the way that you do, or in just the way that anyone else does. You compete only with yourself. You develop yourself by writing.”
― John McPhee, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

An early morning email woke me.

"Have you seen the stats on your article?”

I hadn’t.

I walked across my apartment, opened my laptop, checked my email.

63,459 opens.

I blinked and refreshed my browser.

More than 63,000 people had read the article.

I knew that was a lot of people and a quick check of total global employees confirmed my hunch. It was more than half the company.

A new email hit my inbox. “Congratulations,” read the subject line. The sender, our client, explained we had written the most opened article in the history of the company’s intranet.

This particular piece of written content was the kind of article you would bookmark. You’d reread it. And if you were a story-nerd like me, you’d print it, use a pen and highlighter to take notes and dissect it.

The response we got from that article is rare. But the article itself worked because it was really, really good.

What are the elements that made the piece so successful?

Let me tell you so that you can think about this the next time you’re creating a piece of content for your audience. It was...

Relevant. The piece we wrote was something the audience wanted to read. This relates back to what I’ve been saying for several weeks: Be interested in your audience, ask them questions, learn what they want to know, then make your story part of theirs. That makes it relevant.

Helpful. The piece we wrote answered one question that was on everyone’s mind (in this particular company). Great storytelling solves a problem for your audience and helps your audience get the results they’re looking for.

Organized. There is a logic to great content. I referenced the hero’s journey or monomyth. It’s not a formula. It’s a way of helping your audience through a series of ideas.

Detailed. Your audiences want all the information you can provide them. But don’t overwhelm them. If you can help your readers take your information and use it immediately, then you’re making it easy for them to implement your ideas. I believe that is critical.

Personal. When I write to you, I always inject some of my personality. In fact, when I get really personal, it’s actually hard to schedule the email. I’m not sure if I’m revealing too much of myself. But I’ve found the more I reveal, the better response I get from you. Telling stories. Including pictures. The more personal you are, the more real you’re being. People want that. They don’t want to deal with faceless companies. Thanks.

Engaging. When you do a good job with your content, your audience will respond to you. You’ll get comments and feedback. We’ve been getting great comments on this email series. If you like what we’re writing, hit reply. If you don’t like it, let us know that, too.

Like I said, it’s rare to get the kind of response we got from the article we wrote. It’s the kind of thing we’d like to be able to brag we can replicate over and over again.

Keeping in mind the above, makes that easier.