Coaches Corner: The Establishment Of A New Era! EWI’s Very Own Business Writer’s Union

11 Jun

 

 Howard Feinstein, EWI Board Member

howie

This week, E.W.I. took a major step forward by launching its first business-specific working body, the E.W.I. Writers Group.  We have long envisioned establishing specialized groups where current students, graduates, and others could share knowledge, provide support, and even pool resources, geared to their specific business areas.  Writing and publishing, which are undergoing historic changes, provide a golden opportunity to start.  To date, thirteen EWI-affiliated writers (students, graduates, staff, and board members) have signed up for this group, which will meet on the second Tuesday evening of each month in the E.W.I. conference room in Alexandria.  Anyone else interested should contact Howard Feinstein at khfeinstein@verizon.net ASAP.  There are absolutely no requirements other than EWI affiliation and an interest in writing — it doesn’t matter whether you have just won the Nobel Prize for literature, or you are just interested in exploring writing.

    

Writing is a highly diverse field — already we have fiction and nonfiction authors, poets, spoken-word artists, music lyricists, and others.  We will be sharing information on publishing leads and opportunities; marketing trends; technological developments; structural changes in the publishing industry; and many more facets of this rapidly-evolving field.  Eventually, we may choose to read and preview each other’s work, invite guest speakers, and other activities.  The initial meeting, on July 9, will be devoted to seeing where we are in our writing careers, and exploring what everyone would like to get from the group experience.  Writing is an unusually isolated activity, and EWI provides a ready-made avenue for support and cooperation.

We expect that other E.W.I. business-specific groups will follow.  In addition to the networking and marketing techniques that we have been discussing at this blog-space, it is also important to keep apprised of developments in one’s particular field of business (this is sometimes referred to as “inside networking“).  This doesn’t mean spying on competitors or fishing for others’ trade secrets.  Rather, we mean steps like reading journals, magazines, and websites which cover your business; attending meetings and conferences relating to your field; speaking or exhibiting at trade fairs and similar events; in short, just taking the time to keep an eye open for developments in your area.

This type of networking should be carried out on a cooperative, rather than competitive, basis.  In this age of social media and constantly expanding information availability, it is actually easier than ever to keep abreast of news and notes which can be helpful to you.  And let’s face it:  we are in a large, growing metropolitan area, relatively unscathed by the economic downturn which created such havoc in other regional markets.  Your goal is not to “corner the market” or drive competitors out of business.  We are fortunate to be in a market which can absorb quality services and products.  Put your energy into providing maximum customer service and top-notch quality, and you can — and will — succeed, with the support of your friends in the E.W.I. community.

One more quick piece of advice — I don’t believe that any of you will do this, but I have seen it in music and other businesses, so I may as well mention it:  Refrain from criticizing or circulating negative information about competitors.  Your business can stand on its own without resorting to this tactic.  Also, these digs have a way of coming back on you, as one never knows who may eventually hear them.  Keep things positive and professional, and treat every customer like royalty, and you will prosper.  The high road is the one to take.

Best wishes to all,

Howie

  Written By EWI Board Member, Howard Feinstein

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