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Print Production & Distribution:

Hire Writers & Advisors

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It's now time to identify your writer and advisors, if you haven't done so already. The Web producer may also want to work with your writer and advisors to develop some Web content, since they will have already become steeped in the project content.

Teachers or members of your target audience may have great ideas, but they may not be the best writers. Often the most effective materials are created by a team that includes a curriculum or instructional developer (or simply a writer who is experienced at writing educational content) and an advisory board made up of four to six members of the target audience. You may also have another expert reviewer or two to focus on content accuracy.

So how do you find a writer? Ask around. (If you're using an educational outreach department or coordinator, this is their job.) Review educational materials that you like on similar subjects, and track down the writer. Check with professional organizations like the Association of Educational Publishers or educational publishing houses to see if they maintain files of freelancers. Training organizations are also good resources for finding writers.

Whether you choose a freelance writer, an outside organization, or internal staff, you (or the editorial project director) will be overseeing and guiding the process, making sure that the material meets the goals and objectives that were identified early in the educational outreach planning process, and ensuring that it achieves the same level of quality as your broadcast piece.

Be sure the writer always has the most up-to-date material about your program or educational outreach goals. Or, if your materials will be based on the curriculum or content underlying your series versus actual program content, make sure to give him your show's curriculum outline and any information you have on related educational standards. Let the writer know as your treatment, scripts, or rough cuts change. Give him your rough outline for the print materials -- or if you haven't developed one, ask him to propose a structure for your review.

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