I have been thinking about press releases and updates about a moment in time (over a quarter or over a year) recently and begun to look at them through the filter of a future artifact vs. a document read today.
When you write something like a press release, or an update, or a quarterly summary – you are essentially writing about something about a specific moment in time. If you step back and look at how, why, and when someone will be reading this document you can gain an interesting perspective. I treat these documents as future artifacts, or documents that should be looked at during any point in the future and still provide relevant information.
This is far different from a story as it lists facts that should be short and easy to digest. In most cases, especially with a press release, the information should succinct and clear as it will be picked up and used elsewhere.
Writing for this purpose is similar to parsing data and turning quantitative information into an eloquent and elegant paragraph about what is being looked at. It should provide the reader with ample information to digest what they need to know – and quickly move on.
Circling back to my point, I try to imagine someone picking up a draft in the future, be it 1 year or 10 years and getting relevant information for that moment in time. In comparison to other “moments in time” they should be able to string together coherent thoughts and understand the story being woven over each period.
An example of this would be reading 4 quarterly reports at the same time – together providing an overview of an entire year. They should paint a complete picture, but each should also be able to stand alone.
This is a stream of consciousness post and hopefully useful – let me know in the comments!Data, News release, Press Release, Writers Resources