Dear <<First Name>>

We're facing hugely complex decisions in the UK right now and these are anxious hours.

As content creators we've been watching the communications pouring from both sides of the EU Referendum debate. Claims and counterclaims, hyperbole and hysteria, long reasoned articles, knee jerk sound bites and beautifully passionate pleas for peaceful unity.

While we're voting 'in' and hoping for the best on Thursday, you can take comfort from the fact that your business is unlikely to ever need to communicate anything as complicated as the ins and out of EU membership!

Amongst the fear, fury and hope one thing is very clear to us. When arguments aren't presented with clarity, people switch off. Uncertainty is unsettling, and we look for reassurance in things we can grasp. Simple messages - be they negative or positive, false or true - become the fires that we crowd around.  

In these complex times, simplicity and clarity are what we crave. 

Structure is one way to achieve this for your readers. Here's a simple, easy-to-follow formula to bring order to your arguments and structure to your content. 

Think big picture first. Ranting is great for getting your mind clear, but order your thoughts before you share them with the world.

Who, what, why, how...and what next? The best laid arguments or blogs posts answer all the important questions in a logical order:

  1. Who are you talking to?  Who it is you are writing for, really? Have one person in mind and write to them. Say who this article is for.  
  2. What is the challenge this content looks to solve? What’s the main point you’re trying to get across? You may have 20, but what’s the most crucial? Stay focused.  
  3. Why should your reader care? See the situation from their point of view. Are you talking to someone who’s already on your side, or are you looking to change the reader’s mind? Whatever your starting point, empathy is a powerful tool to draw people closer to you. Use language to build a bridge. Communicate why this matters.
  4. How can she think differently about the issue? Set out your argument. What are the main points you want the reader to consider? Make them clear and logical. Guide your reader through each step.
  5. What next? What’s the first thing she can do? What can she do now? What’s your call to action? You’ve fired your reader to seize the day - make sure the first action is within easy reach. Tell them what to do now.

In a noisy complex world, a well-structured argument can feel like a welcome oasis of sanity, don't you find?

See you on the other side.

Sonja and Sharon

P.S. Want to help get your message clear and your content sorted? Pub School (our small group coaching programme in the best pub in Bristol) opens two new classes in September.
>> Pub School Open Day on July 7 - grab a free ticket here

Not one but two Valuable Content Award winners this month. Congratulations Andrea and the team at ecosurety.
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