Ahead of the popular AdSchool Fearless Writing for the Digital Age course in September, the Comms Council spoke to the talented Emma Park, Melbourne presenter and Isobar’s Associate Creative Director, on the key to great writing, the ‘captive audience’ and the buzzword that’s here to stay.

Most people can write, but they can’t write with impact. Do you agree or disagree?
I disagree. For me, it’s not that people can’t write with impact, it’s that many people don’t understand the impact their words can have. Understanding the nuances of words and the impact they have on an audience is key to great writing.

For example, the Oxford Dictionaries blog lists 22 different ways to say ‘yes’. But each has a slightly different context – knowing the right one to use and why can be the difference between having impact or not.

Why is there a greater need to write well with digital audiences in mind? What’s the advantage?
Unlike more traditional channels, digital doesn’t provide a captive audience. People scan, scroll and swipe without even thinking. So, unless you can craft your words to be short, clear and digestible you’ll have trouble making an impact.
Why is writing for digital so important, and who is the course for?
Digital is core to everything we do today – it’s a central part of our daily communications with friends, clients, colleagues and strangers. This course recognises that.

It’s not a course specifically for writers or creatives or editors. It’s for anyone who communicates digitally. And unless you’re my elderly father who doesn’t text and still pays his bills at the post office, that’s probably you.

This includes marketing professionals from all sectors, including real estate writers, social media marketers, influencers, bloggers, online writers (including features and advertorials) and presenters or speech writers.

Or you might work in PR, in a marketing department, or in social and find that writing is a big part of your job.  So, whether it’s writing for a customer, an influencer, to sell something, to explain an idea or to present to an audience, everyone can benefit from fearless writing.

What are some of the trends in digital that writers need to be aware of?
AI is a really big thing in digital – it’s far more than a buzzword. It’s something that will undoubtedly influence the role of writers over the next few years.

Emma Park will be presenting the AdSchool Fearless Writing for Digital Age course in Melbourne from 12 September (4 week course).
The course is also running in Sydney & Brisbane with creative writer and director Sylvianne Heim.