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Communications, Philosophy

The summary of your abstract is your elevator pitch

And your elevator pitch might well be the simple truth.

Have you ever written an abstract? Did you write it before or after the main paper? Did you hope that the abstract would draw people in to read the whole of your work, or did you assume that the abstract was the only thing the average Joe would bother reading?

Even if it’s not a true assumption, it’s a good assumption to make.

I write, edit and publish company information, and so I’m always talking to departmental leaders and managers and having to ask, “so, what do you do?” and the answer is invariably in business-speak, coming off the top of their heads and floating over mine.

I try not to pull faces, or to let my exasperation show, but I then have to ask “but what do you do, what’s the function of your department?” and you might think that these well spoken managers would be annoyed with me, but I reckon they know they’ve been caught out.

For example:

“Through prioritisation processes, we streamline business plans, after having identified the interdepartmental interdependencies. We focus on delivering business benefits in alignment with the current business objectives.”

Becomes:

“Through agreed processes, we identify bottlenecks and resourcing problems so we can better react to business needs, helping everyone work in a more efficient and effective manner. We help everyone work together by following a set of principles and procedures, and by considering what the business as a whole is aiming towards.”

Your purpose

Do you have any personal overarching goals for this year? There’s nothing wrong with a personal mission statement! As an individual, you might want to ensure you enjoy every day of your life and contribute to your tribe or community. How will you make that happen? How can you make sure each day helps you seek happiness and equanimity?

If you’re running some projects (either business oriented or personal) have you got a mission statement for each of them? Have you at least a clear idea of what the project’s purpose is?

Why not list out all the projects your involved with, or leading, and write a short paragraph for each, defining its purpose and final goal.

Final goals are great, as without them you don’t know if you’re ever successful.

My personal mission statement

I mean to enjoy every day of my life, to only work with people and on projects that bring me happiness and satisfaction, and I will contribute to the wider community in a structured manner. I will care for my friends and share my life with my loved ones. I will prioritise my happiness by considering simplicity in all I do.

The purpose of kilobox communiqué

kilobox communiqué will provide writers and communicators with valuable ideas and inspiration for their personal and professional writing projects. kilobox communiqué will develop over 2008/09 to become a respected resource with an interested and engaged audience, members of which may become guest writers over time. kilobox communiqué will work with sponsors of integrity so as to be financially self-sufficient enough to enable further development of the website, content and services provided.

Your projects

So, what do you do? Can you state what the purpose of your project is with confidence and alacrity? Are you ready to discuss it with your bosses boss, or your best friend’s mother? Do you, in short, know what you spend your time on?

List out your personal and professional projects; give them a mission statement or at least a purpose paragraph. Define your goals and see if you can reach them any quicker now that they’re in black and white.

Tomorrow, I’ll set out my projects!

[Wedge]

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.