Writing policy briefings – get it right the first time

You have only got one chance to get it right when you have to write a briefing to a policy maker.This training is designed to help staff to structure, draft and fine tune their policy briefings and correspondence that go direct to policy makers. The workshop will include principles of writing policy briefings and evaluation of sample papers and correspondence.

Participants will work in small groups on a series of tasks that include structuring a text and condensing a longer policy paper to a short briefing or email. Participants will also be able to review their own writing.

Course content

Writers need to take account of the key ingredients of message development, stakeholder analysis and techniques for writing with impact.

You need a structure for policy briefing memos and a method. The format and length of any policy paper varies but they should all include:

  1. The audience: what do they know now? What do they care about?
  2. The “too long didn’t read (TLDR)” big hitting message in one sentence,
  3. The mission statement of the paper – what to expect,
  4. The background – narrative that takes us by the hand and bridges to the policy choice,
  5. The options – in terms of pros/cons,
  6. What is your ask? What do readers need to appreciate, know or do?
  7. Follow up – what do you want and what’s the action?

Then you need the skill to be able to write clear and precise sentences. Choose wording that fits the readership. Condense a text by eliminating repetition, wordy phrases, unnecessary adverbs and more.

Format – In-person and online

In-person: We bring people together in groups at your office or training centre in line with social distancing rules.
Webinars and online coaching: We run webinars for groups and online follow up coaching for individuals.
Online learning: We provide learners with online reading materials, tasks and cheat sheets.

Follow up training

We can tailor a programme to include Presentation Skills or Media Training. Our clients often ask for follow up training in Advanced Writing skills so that staff are well practised in developing both spoken and written messages.

For more details and a quote please contact us

Tel: +32 (0)473 39 18 90 or at info@formativecoms.com