I write a lot of RFPs. And strangely, I like RFPs and the process.
Anybody involved in technology sales has greeted the arrival of RFPs in their Inboxes with a little excitement and healthy amount of dread. How much work is needed? How fast does it need to get in? Does it make any sense?
And the big ones – has this RFP been pre-baked by an insider vendor, and is the effort to respond even worth it?
I write RFPs that get to the core questions quickly and make perfect sense to vendors. My work expedites the whole process by trimming out a lot of fat and wasted efforts. When clients engage me to develop an RFP, it starts with a lot of work understanding needs, budget realities and politics. I usually stay involved all through the process, and helped navigate and even lead the effort.
I work with a lot of clients on focusing and fine-tuning the message they’re putting out in the marketplace.
Quite often, they’re too close to their products and services to realize that their target customers don’t entirely get what they’re all about. Or what they’ve got is getting tired. Or they really have nothing.
I get in with them – talk about their offer – and sort out what’s most important to communicate and how to say it.
I have written a couple of books and a handful of mini-books, and have another on the horizon. They have ranged from primers on industries to a gorgeous, glossy, full-color coffee table book showcasing the application of a client’s display technology in locations around the globe.
Those are big, big projects and can take a lot of time. For me, the keys are speed and accuracy, credibility in content, and readability. Good writing propels people through a book.
I’ve enjoyed these projects and would welcome one or two more.
I have worked with clients on scripting and organizing explanatory and project profile videos that do a great job, both visually and in supporting narrative, in explaining the features and benefits of products and services.
Video is also a powerful storytelling tool, particularly for technology firms that can struggle to concisely explain just in words what they they have.
One project I worked on involved a series of video scribing pieces that explained a display technology aimed at the mobile sector.
Software and hardware vendors often find their best sales tools are their customers and projects, but it can be hard to relate the story in just a few words.
I’ve written dozens of case studies and white papers – on everything from how digital displays are keep staff on factory floors informed to detailed looks at the outdoor advertising and the issues surrounding biometric video analytics technology.
The key for any of them – draw readers in quickly and make it all easily understoood, without dumbing it down.
How many times have you gone to a technology company’s website, and clicked your way around trying to figure out what the heck the company did and sells?
Too many, I’m betting.
I work with companies to pull out their key messages and truly unique attributes, and get them into tight, easily understood word bundles that prevent confusion and get browsers clicking on the contact page.
I write the words, but also help with marketing strategy and navigation. It’s not my thing, but I can get my hands a little dirty in the actual coding, if needed.
I have a separate company, a partnership called The Preset Group, that works with clients large and small on getting their digital signage projects off to a solid start.
That operates separately from pressDOOH, and the company is actually based in Portland, OR. Business partner Pat Hellberg and I juggle time between our own business interests and manage to make it work quite well. The lines can get blurred, at times, but it’s always clear to our clients.