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Writing skills for planning professionals

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 at 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Prospero House, 241 Borough High St, London SE1 1GA
£349 for RTPI members (From £199 with a season ticket)
£199 for licentiate members and independent consultants; £140 for students, unemployed and retired; £449 standard price
RTPI Conferences

With recent legislation changes - including the Localism Act - good communication skills have never been more vital. Whether you’re writing a letter, a public consultation leaflet, a strategic policy document or design and access statements, your written messages should be clear and easy to understand.

This intensive and practical masterclass focuses on helping you to plan your document, write fluently without the struggle, and to polish and edit your work.  The aim is not only to get your messages across, but also to use the written word to build harmonious relationships and enhance your professional reputation.

Benefits of attending

Attending this masterclass will help you:

  1. Know how to structure documents, letters and emails for impact and clarity
  2. Write faster and more fluently – and abolish writer’s block
  3. Write twice as much in half the time with a can’t fail process to make it easy
  4. Turn difficult situations to your advantage by controlling the tone of your written message
  5. Raise your personal and professional profile by presenting yourself powerfully on paper or screen.
  6. Let your written messages smooth the way for collaborative negotiations and win-win decisions 

Who should attend?

Planners and administrators in public and private sectors who need to communicate clearly and on a variety of levels with individuals, community groups, colleagues, councillors, committee members and professionals in other organisations.



1 What do we mean by good communication?

  • Definition of communication – and why it ‘takes two to tango’
  • The invisible barriers and hurdles that may prevent us getting our message across
  • Putting yourself in the reader’s shoes
  • Why the facts alone may not be enough

2 Structuring your message to get your points across

  • Identify your reader – know your objective
  • Structuring for brevity and impact
  • Planning the content… keeping it simple
  • Beginnings and endings
  • Avoiding clichés like the plague
  • Rules that were made to be broken
  • Editing tips and techniques

3 How to make writing as easy as speaking

  • Removing the struggle from the writing process
  • Identifying the roots of writer’s block and banishing it for ever
  • Understanding the psychology of writing and editing
  • What your English teacher never taught you at school
  • The four stage process that enables your writing to be fast, focused and fluent

4 Writing effective e-mails

  • Avoiding the tyranny of e-mail
  • Traps and pitfalls
  • How to get your e-mails read
  • Irresistible subject lines with ‘read-me’ appeal
  • E-mail etiquette

5 Writing for the press and the people

  • Communicating with local residents and businesses
  • Get the Press on your side with a well written press release

6 Introduction to writing reports and longer documents

  • Defining your purpose and objectives
  • Prioritising your information
  • Co-ordinating your writing team
  • Pulling it all together and how not to be overwhelmed
  • Structuring so readers can extract essential info at speed
  • How to inject life into your text with some tricks that journalist’s use

7 Layout and presentation

  • Tailoring your text to please the eye – make your layout user friendly
  • Why white space is never wasted space
  • Get your reader ‘in the mood’ by choosing the right font
  • How to use layout for maximum impact
  • Devices to break up text and give your message instant accessibility

8 Developing your style

  • Formal and informal writing styles
  • Choosing and using an appropriate tone
  • Accentuating the positive to transform negative messages
  • Turn difficult situations to your advantage
  • Use the active voice for lively and dynamic phrasing


Trainer: Judi Goodwin