From internal planning documents to external media releases, a convincing piece of writing can be a key to success for business initiatives – and for the professionals who lead them.
Cornell’s Content Writing online certificate program, offered through eCornell, empowers students with techniques to present information succinctly and engage readers with actionable next steps. Lauren Chambliss, senior lecturer in the Department of Communication at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is the faculty author. Chambliss was a journalist for 20 years in Washington, D.C., before coming to Cornell. She previously served as director of communication for the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and now teaches full time.
In developing the certificate program, Chambliss noted a trend: Organizations expect professionals across career fields to take on – and excel in – writing-focused responsibilities. Recent studies on effective management, such as Google’s Project Oxygen, show that employers view strong communication skills as essential and closely associated with good leadership, no matter the sector.
"In today's professional landscape, writing is not just a task for copywriters. It's a valuable skill across various roles and industries,” Chambliss said. “Regardless of your job title, having a strong writing portfolio sets you apart, paves the way for career advancement and opens doors to leadership opportunities."
Even standard presentations are being replaced with written content in some organizations. At Amazon, PowerPoint slides have been phased out in favor of six-page memos at executive meetings. The company’s leaders contend that the practice encourages employees to pack as much information as possible into their proposals, creating more convincing narratives.
Students earning Cornell’s Content Writing certificate complete two courses on conciseness and persuasiveness in copywriting and three courses on effective writing for digital contexts: websites, online media and social media. In addition to gaining an understanding of copywriting fundamentals, participants learn an increasingly important skill: content targeting. Students complete a variety of writing and self-editing exercises throughout the program, building toward a final project.
The program also offers a symposium: three days of live, interactive virtual sessions that enable students, Cornell faculty and industry experts to engage in real-time conversations about pressing topics in marketing and communications.
“Creating engaging, lively content across multiple platforms is critical in today’s professional world, whether you are a content creator, a business owner or a copywriter in a big company, government agency or non-profit,” Chambliss said. “Dynamic writing requires us to keep adapting and improving our skills.”
Cornell’s Content Writing certificate program prepares professionals to craft content that engages and persuades. Are you ready to discover current best practices for your business communications? Learn more and enroll now.
This story was drafted by eCornell marketing intern Justin Heitzman.