Why Government Contractors Need Professional Writers

By Steve Hoffman, Hoffman Marketing Communications, Inc.

Question:

Government contractors spend weeks, months, or even years working on a government contract. How important are the written contract deliverables required in this contract?

Answer:

They are critically important. The government evaluates contractor performance by how well they deliver solutions and how well they document what they deliver. This means that if your operational work is great, but your written documentation is just okay, the government is likely to perceive your work as, well, just okay.

Considering this, you may ask yourself: How well does your company perform in the area of written deliverables?

A Lot is Riding on the Quality of Your Written Deliverables

The information products that your company submits as part of the government contract have your company’s name on them – and perhaps your name as well. Your government customers read and assess these documents carefully. Of equal importance, written documents become part of the federal record. The quality of written content reflects directly on you and your company. And, the written materials are likely to influence your company’s ability to win recompetes, extensions, and new contracts. Clearly, there is a lot riding on the quality of your writing.

Given this, do you have a professional writer authoring your written deliverables? Or do you have personnel who are specialists at other tasks doing the writing? Rather than someone specifically trained to write professional quality documentation, have you assigned an analyst, engineer, researcher, or manager to the writing task? While these personnel may be quite adept at analyzing, engineering, researching, and managing, how good are they at writing? You wouldn’t ask your accountant to repair your car, so why do you have an engineer or manager writing your written deliverables?

Great Writing Is Not Easy

High quality writing is a skill that many analysts, engineers, researchers, and managers do not possess. If they were great at writing, they would probably be doing it for a living. There are many aspects to high quality writing. It’s about so much more than grammatically correct sentences. Of course, it involves accurately capturing all of the required information in the project. But it’s also about doing so in a useful, well organized, concise, and compelling way. It’s about presenting easy-to-read information in intriguing ways that holds the reader’s attention (e.g., infographics). It involves thinking from the government’s perspective and giving them what they specify in the contract. Quality written deliverables must also be completed on time and on budget.

Okay, so how can you improve the quality of your written deliverables? The answer is to subcontract writing tasks to a professional writer. Unless you have a professional writer as a dedicated resource on the contract, there is no other way to ensure that your contract deliverables are documented in a manner that makes you look good and fully meets or exceeds the contract requirements.

But don’t hire just any professional writer – hire one who is adept at writing about complex, technical material across a range of topics. A writer who has only written in one subject area has not demonstrated their ability to learn new subject areas. Our experience has shown that a writer who has only written in your exact subject area is too close to the material to provide the necessary perspective. Conversely, a writer who has written about several technical topics is able to learn and effectively communicate unbiased and applicable information to the target audience.

Focused, Coherent Writing Differentiates Contractors

How many government contractors devote a professional writer to a contract? The answer is: not many. Doing this will differentiate you and your company from competitors. And there are other advantages to this approach.

Using a seasoned professional writer to produce written contract deliverables means you need not scramble to write documentation at the last minute. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on the all-important strategies, technical work, and operational contract work. You’ll have the confidence of knowing that all your excellent work will be well reflected and communicated in the written contract deliverables.

Superior Written Content Builds Trust and Credibility

Another advantage of superior written content is that it builds trust between your company and the government buyers. And such content enhances the credibility of your firm. The government expects good content in the form of reports, papers, plans, exhibits, and useful illustrations. Well-written information products make government personnel look good. Government clients proudly circulate professional quality documents to their colleagues. Incentivize them to share your written products by providing excellent content.

To gain an even greater competitive advantage, consider involving a professional writer earlier in the acquisition process. A professional writer can write a white paper for you that can help you influence government buyers far before RFIs and RFPs are issued. This form of business-to-government (B2G) content marketing is gaining in popularity. To learn more, read our blog on “B2G White Papers: A Relationship-Building Tool” or see our white paper on “Content Marketing to the Federal Government.”

The government is continually bombarded with mediocre or even poorly written content. Do you want your company to be in this group? Or do you want to stand out from the crowd as a “prized” contractor?

About the Author

Steve Hoffman is President of Hoffman Marketing Communications, Inc. For over 30 years, Hoffman has written reports, white papers, and a wide range of other written deliverables for leading companies around the world. Hoffman specializes in technically-challenging topics in a wide range of subject areas. Hoffman writers average 30 years of experience in high-quality writing and consulting. [DUNS: 612084280 / CAGE: 7PAX3]