Think Like a Strategist

Before you create any new communication, start by focusing on the results you want to achieve. By thinking strategically upfront, you will save time, minimize rework and move your business forward.

Answer these questions to think – and write – like a strategist:

My Purpose

  • Why am I writing this communication? To inform? Announce? Recommend? Praise?
  • What do I want the reader to do?
  • Should I have a conversation instead of writing this communication?

My Readers

  • Who are my readers?
  • What is the reader’s role?
  • What does the reader know about the subject? How technical can I be? What readership level should I aim for?
  • How is the primary reader like to react? (E.g. Receptive, indifferent, resistant)
  • How are other readers likely to react? Do I need a pre-sell or influence strategy?
  • What is my primary reader’s style? How should I adjust to it?
  • How will the reader use this communication?


  • Is the audience internal and/or external?
  • Given the audience, what information should I include? Exclude?
  • Could it fall into the wrong hands? Do I need a prevention/mitigation strategy?


What type of communication does this communication analysis require?

  • Email
  • Presentation
  • Web content
  • Social media post
  • Letter
  • Business case or report
  • Other – specify


  • How long will the communication be?
  • In what order will I organize my ideas? (i.e. Most important first)
  • What is the one idea I want the readers to act on or remember? How do I turn that idea into a title or subject line?

Lisa Goller
Lisa Goller helps businesses tell their story. As a Toronto-based Strategic Freelance Writer & Editor, she helps executives and entrepreneurs stand out, look good and save time. Learn more at


Related articles:
Strategic Brief for Successful Projects
Objective Clarifier Tool
Web Writing S.O.S.
The Mindszenthy & Roberts Corporation

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