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You spend your day doing what?

Mostly being what clients need me to be. It might be a hack unearthing some nuggets of common sense from one part of a business, to relay to another. Or it might be a communications strategist chewing the cud with a Chief Exec about business fundamentals. Perhaps it’s an experienced hand to translate management guff into something my mum or son might enjoy. Or a speed-reader who can assimilate a pile of Powerpoint hieroglyphics and marshal a logical argument.

In between all that, I find time for helping anyone else at Writers with their work, making tea fussily and power-napping unfussily.

Your view on good writing

It’s the thinking that makes up 95% of the job. Get the brief right, identify the proposition and understand the audience, agree a logical structure, make the most of the format or medium. Do all that and the words are like colouring in at the end, really.

Your favourite tasks

With over 20 years’ worth of projects under my belt, there have been plenty of enjoyable ones and many that were painful. The best are where you’ve helped the client move their communications on a bit, with a clear summary of an important issue – whether in one line or one page.

For example, a high level analysis of how copyright law affects today’s TV world, for the CEO of FremantleMedia, part of RTL Group. Or how Sainsbury’s will use technology in the fast-changing and competitive retail market. For Thomson Reuters, the importance of accurate information when companies make sustainability decisions. Or the three-paragraph investment case for Russian industrial Uralkali in the global potash fertiliser market. I love ‘em all.

At the end of the day…

Music – many genres. Food – with the shopping and cooking as important as the eating. And sport – the wheel of life has turned another notch, so a life playing and coaching rugby has become one of watching it, along with American football, football and athletics, plus following my children’s sports careers. For a real competitive workout though, I play a night’s backgammon at least once a week.

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Richard Owsley