FW: non-standard proposals

Subject: FW: non-standard proposals
From: Karen Field <kfield -at- STELLCOM -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 11:56:24 -0700

Thought this deserved a wider review. The author can't post to the list.

-----Original Message-----
From: Miki Magyar [mailto:miki_magyar -at- spatial -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 1999 11:41 AM
To: 'kfield -at- STELLCOM -dot- com'
Subject: non-standard proposals

Go for it! Depending on the field and the audience, of course. If it's a
mil-spec or major corporation you're aiming at, you will probably have
better luck with a standard plain-vanilla proposal, in clear English. That
alone will set it off from the competition!

However, if you're in a small to medium company and aiming at other similar
targets, you'll do very well to rethink the whole proposal format and
content. I worked with a small lighting engineering contractor firm to
develop their skills in this area, and they went ahead and blew the
competition out of the water.

The key is audience analysis. Audience*s* - since any proposal will be
vetted by more than one person. We targeted specific sections to specific
audiences - one for techies, one for bean counters, one for busy execs, etc.
The focus of the whole proposal was a clear definition of what the client's
problems were, and how this company could solve them better and faster (not
cheaper) than anyone else.

We started with imagined conversations with the various types of people who
would be reading it, and 'listened' to the questions they would ask. These
became the headings. All supplementary material, like tables, charts, and
details of components, went into appendices or attachments. The main body of
the proposal was short and sweet, very focused, and clearly written. Lots of

Yes, it can be done, and I say it should be done. You have nothing to lose
but boredom. Let us know what you do, and how it turns out.

mikim -at- ieee -dot- org

I can't get access to the list or I'd post this there. Feel free to pass it
on if you think it merits a wider audience.

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