I’m Ray, the new editor at Practice WEB
I was a teenager when I started to think of myself as a Writer with a capital W, which led me to Cambridge University where I studied English, eventually specialising in American literature.
After graduating I worked as a web developer for a few years before making my way back to writing through a series of roles in communications in central government, where I eventually gained the embarrassing nickname ‘Dr Wordsmith’.
In recent years I worked as a freelancer writing for magazines, producing content for commercial websites, ghostwriting for CEOs, and co-writing two non-fiction books with my partner.
Perhaps more important than any of that for the purposes of this role, however, is that both my partner and my younger brother are accountants, which means that for years now I’ve been taking part in heavy conversations about IR35, inheritance tax and auto-enrolment over dinner.
My life at PracticeWEB
It’s certainly an exciting time to be joining Practice WEB. My predecessor, the dynamic and much-respected Alice Neal, kicked off a new approach to content designed to better meet the varying needs of our clients, and setting a new bar for quality. I’m fortunate to be delivering on her vision.
The final product is a set of what we’re calling ‘content packs’, each tailored to work for one of several distinct audience segments, from individuals to substantial businesses. Packaging them this way makes it easier for busy accountants, partners or their marketing teams to quickly understand what is on offer.
This approach was driven by a renewed focus on the end consumers of the content we produce – that is, not accountants, but their clients. That has meant reviewing research, as well as drawing out and codifying the good practice that has become instinct to Practice WEB’s expert writers and consultant editors over the years.
We have statistics to show, for example, that small and medium business owners are often hungry for advice on topics that directly affect their families such as inheritance tax and succession planning. We also know that they are more likely to click on links and headlines which offer them practical support — reminders, tips, clarity on complex issues.
A particular interest of mine is the practice of defining and applying ‘tone of voice’. Since arriving at Practice WEB I have been reviewing our ‘white label’ content with the aim of making it subtly lighter in tone, and at the same time giving it more substance. It should always be engaging and easy-to-read, but never superficial.
I am especially excited about working with those customers who choose our tailored service. There’s a real thrill in getting to know a client’s story and drawing out a voice which is unmistakably theirs, refining it, and turning it into a set of principles. I want people to say, “yes, that’s exactly what I would have written if I could have spared the billable hours, and exactly how I hope I’d have written it”.