His master’s voice

Did you know that HMV, the music shop, is so named for the famous picture of a dog and gramophone featured on the record above. It’s called “His Master’s Voice”.

This could easily be a post about guidance and the “voice of God”. Based on the title, anyway. But it’s not. It’s about my job.

My CEO is leaving soon. She’s been here for five years. I’ve been here for three. In that time I’ve learned her “voice” to the point that I can write quotes for her without them being chopped and changed. I used to get a fair bit of red pen scribble on my draft releases. Now I get none. Or not much. If I do it’s because I’ve been too heavy handed in my haranguing of politicians.

We’ll no doubt have a new CEO soon. This presents a problem. A new CEO means having to master a new voice. And more red pen. I hate red pen. I feel a bit like the dog in that painting – who was apparently listening to his dead master’s voice on the gramophone.

The reason I write this now – is that I’ve just written a media release with some quotes from a former manager at Townsville Enterprise – whose voice I used to write also. And she said “that’s just the way I would have said it”. Which is nice. It seems once you’ve learned a voice it’s like learning to ride a bike.

Incidentally – I use blogging as much to develop my written voice as I do to procrastinate. It’s useful. Particularly for one so accustomed to the weasel words of corporate media speak.

Do you have a “voice”, written or otherwise?

I’m not sure how to define “voice” – it’s about style, choice of words, length of sentences, nuance, emphasis, syntax, and phraseology. Some of those things are the same. Others are different. There are certain words, particularly adjectives, that often pop up when I’m writing for particular people.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.