As a PR practitioner, I have a few not-so-shocking confessions to make: I’m not a lawyer, nor am I an accountant. Additionally, I have never attended medical school, and I haven’t had a chance to get much experience in investing, either.
Yet it’s often my job to take highly complex topics and break them down into succinct pieces for the mainstream media. This task can be quite daunting, especially when you aren’t an expert in the subject.
If you find yourself feeling stuck when writing about a topic you don’t completely understand, fear not. Here are some tips for writing content on intricate subjects:
Use varying sources for your research. I know this tip may seem obvious, but it’s still important to address. The best way to learn about something new is to gather insights from a well-rounded group of sources. Don’t just limit yourself to different websites, either – it can be helpful to check out webinars, relevant message boards, social media accounts and, yes, even print books, as well.
Ask questions. If you still feel like you don’t have a grasp on the topic, going to an expert in that field can provide more clarity than a Google search. However, make sure you do your research before approaching anybody with your questions. Whether it’s your friend, or your client, having some previous knowledge on the matter can help guide the conversation and get you to the answers you’re looking for.
Avoid going down the research rabbit hole. Although compiling thorough research is crucial when learning about a new subject, spending too much time looking up information can leave you feeling more confused than you were before. To avoid this, try drafting a short outline with points you wish to make, or set a time limit for yourself. That way, you’ll be able to quickly sift through all your resources without getting distracted by other, less-pertinent details.
Have any other tips for writing about an unfamiliar topic? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @LandisComm.
This blog was originally published by Buchanan Public Relations – see it here.