The government’s climate change report features meaty data but a squishy summary

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several other government organizations are completing a report on global climate science. Someone leaked a late draft to the New York Times, which published it. The 545 page report is a great case study on how (and how not) to summarize technical information. The executive summary features telling … Continued

The Edelman Trust Barometer shows how we’ve driven into a ditch

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We are living in a portentous moment, characterized by distrust in our leaders and institutions. But what’s the context — is it measurably worse now, and what does it mean? The global communications firm Edelman has released its 2017 edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer, a global survey on exactly these topics. Edelman clearly and evocatively … Continued

Tips for an effective executive summary (Ask Dr. Wobs)

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Executive summaries are crucial for long documents. Keep them spicy and write them early, late, and often. Dear Dr. Wobs: I suspect Executive Summaries became a thing mainly to compensate for bad writing. Do you prefer to write the Summary first, or after writing the rest of the document? And if the Executive Summary is good, … Continued

Effective titles and summaries: You had me at ‘Hello.’

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Every email, document, or post you write now competes with hundreds of other items for your reader’s attention. Two strategies will get them to read it: fascinate and summarize. In this post I explain how to balance these two concepts to create titles, subject lines, openers, and tweets that win over readers quickly. (A complete guide organized by … Continued