Drafting messaging for board members, presidents, and other top leaders requires a strong grasp of the subject’s identifiable voice and personality, as well as a suitable understanding of the message at the beginning of the process. Figures such as these should not be subjected to multiple rounds of review to produce an acceptable final draft.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lindenwood University announced several impactful decisions on the student body, faculty, and staff in a matter of a few days. At this point, I wrote a letter in which President Porter addressed the campus personally with a simple message of hope and solidarity.
As the crisis continued, it was decided a video message, which I scripted, would be the best vehicle for the president to again address the campus community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Zmd7oV85Q&feature=youtu.be
Following an emergency notification by the university of an international student who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to to their home country, I drafted this message from the president to speak to the situation in a more personal manner than what was disseminated in the emergency alert while repeating the critical information from the alert for those who may not have seen it.
I also wrote a number of columns for Mr. Porter’s predecessor, Michael Shonrock, which were published in a local magazine. In keeping with Dr. Shonrock’s outward personality, he preferred his prose to be written in a more upbeat style.