Writing is more than just weaving words together in a meaningful manner. While writing about a generic topic, you tend to share and guide readers into something useful. But when it comes to an emotionally-charged or sensitive topic, writing with compassion is key to effective communication.
Yes, compassion is a vital element in writing, the absence of which can hamper your brand image. Considering how your audience will respond emotionally to anything you write is important. This is especially true of sensitive topics such as tragedies or health-related issues. The kinds of topics that are considered “sensitive” may vary based on your audience’s psychological profile.
So, how do we write with compassion?
- Step into your readers’ shoes
If you were your audience, how would you feel talking about a sensitive topic? What information would ease your nervousness?
Map out all the probable roadblocks and answer them in the most sensible way possible.
- Get the facts right!
Truth is a vital factor while delivering information on a sensitive topic. Fact-based content (with references) is an empathetic way to discuss such matters.
Remember to rely on trusted, primary sources and peer-reviewed academic journals for data!
- Refine your tone
While writing around sensitive topics, refrain from using language that is too casual or comical in nature. Moreover, make sure to choose appropriate words to remain professional and informative. Avoid aggressive marketing or self-promotion while writing about these topics.
- Stay neutral
It’s a natural human impulse to take sides and form opinions. But compassionate writing is supposed to be neutral. If necessary, present varying perspectives fairly, and in good faith (don’t misrepresent the viewpoints or values of others).
To wrap up, writing with empathy means using credible facts, neutral language, and a commitment to delivering unbiased information.