Good PMs are good writers

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@jurasadamAdam Juras

Do you recognize yourself reading this?

My first real post was back in 2014.

Not the one that you can see here, but it was a silly piece about a Gmail trick.

No rocket science, but hey: it made its way directly onto the front page of Hackernews. A week later I wrote about the Romanian president going viral on Facebook, second success!

There I was, hitting the refresh button on the HN thread every 10 seconds while taking screenshots of the Google Analytics page:

Yeeha!

But I knew that even though 15.000+ people visited our website, I won’t get any money out of it. I knew that that wasn’t even my goal. It felt right to continue, but I didn’t know why … and I stopped.

Now, after a couple of years, I think I figured it out.

As a product manager you write a lot. Besides articles like this, there is the copy text on pages, call to actions, the user stories, Google Slides, Sheets, e-mails.

And that’s not all.

For example, have you seen how cool the Slack release notes are?

And how about famous letters from the CEO, like the historic one by Steve Jobs when he announced his resignation?

Or last week’s feature release by Medium.

All of the above are well-written texts, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but easy to read and with a clear message.

From my experience, in small teams usually the PM has to do most of the writing.

And he should!

To be clear, a good PM should own the hell out of that product/feature. She knows exactly what the message to be conveyed should be. She knows how users are ticking. And she knows that good copy is the cornerstone of good design.

It’s a damn hard job, which is why I think why we should all practice. Try out several formats, channels, audiences. Whatever you write, just keep writing.

I would even argue that writing is a PMs most important skill.

And the good part is that we’re not alone in this. We actually have the best help in the world:

A big shoutout to all you Customer Happiness people, UX-ers, Developers, guys from Sales and Marketing. You do a kick-ass job by being always there, ready to help and sometimes even jump in and do the whole job.

Thanks!! 👏

Later Edit: I’m so impressed by all the reactions that I wrote a Homage to the Medium Community. Check it out :)

P.S. The first picture is not mine, I saved it a long time ago and can’t remember the source. If you know, please tell me and I’ll include it.

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