Putting Tight Writing in Perspective

Information overload.

Every morning, I check headlines, my RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook and two e-mail accounts filled with alerts and PR resources. How do I keep up? Everything is “microcommunicated,” which I expect to pass spell check in the next few years.

emailWhile the masses say e-mail is dead, I disagree. Almost every reporter I’ve come in contact with prefers e-mail communication to other traditional or emerging means. In my media relations experience, e-mail beats all other forms of communication 20-to-1 with the help of a follow-up phone call.


I’ll concede e-mail is long past its prime. With Google Wave being introduced as the hundredth-or-so newest way to communicate since e-mail, we’ve all seen a trend of microcommunication. Instant messaging, texting, tweeting, wall posts, comments and a handful of others have all adopted this evolution.

As our expectations on how we receive messages have changed, it can be a little overwhelming for a reporter to be flooded by drawn-out pitches from strangers (us). Reporters will tell you first-hand they have the responsibilities of two (or more) people with newsrooms shrinking across the industry.

To survive as practitioners, we must all practice tight writing, the ability to communicate all the necessary information in fewer paragraphs.

While I refute e-mail is alive and kicking, we must apply what we’ve learned about the new wave of communication to what we’ve been doing since the good old days of Web 1.0.


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