Writing: five ways to get your brief read by the minister


Pack of sheets of paper fastened by paper clips

Your minister has a choice: the in-flight magazine or your policy brief. How do you get read? Make life easy for them in how you present the information.

Imagine your minister getting on the red-eye flight from Perth. It leaves at 0.40am and arrives in, say, Melbourne five hours later.

Think about this person and imagine their circumstances and condition.

At this time of night, all ministers will have put in a 16-hour day. Most will be tired. Most will be stressed. Some will be poorly fed. A rare few will be watered too well.

Once settled into the flight, some 36,000 feet in the air, some ministers order a red. Most then out of a sense of duty will open their briefcase and start to read a pile of briefs that had been screaming out for attention.

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