(Re)capture That Content

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It’s Friday, you’ve just breathed a sigh of relief that your submission made it in (through the portal, which miraculously didn’t fall over) at 11:58:59 – leaving you hanging on to the edge of the table, holding your breath as the little whirly-circly thingy did its job and the screen finally flashed – SUBMISSION SUCCESSFUL – with one minute and one second to spare. You’re debating heading out for lunch (and a pint!) when ‘PING’ your inbox starts making a racket. You realise lunch is going to be a desk affair again as the next bid (which was due to arrive on Monday) has landed. It is due back to the client in way less time than you’d hoped (OR that had been indicated in the preliminary talks).

The last thing you want to do is revisit the submission you have just gotten rid of, and I wouldn’t expect you to do that right now either. What I would suggest is going out for that sandwich and a milkshake or 0% pint, walking round the block a few times (not the one under your desk!) and then coming back with a clear head to have a quick readthrough of that bid that landed a few seconds after you hit submit on the last one.

My steps to success (or at least a few less tension headaches) are:

  • Print out that new bid – including all the questions (or if you prefer digital options, save a clean copy and follow the steps below electronically)
  • Grab a highlighter
  • Highlight everything that looks the same/similar to the bid you just sent off
  • In a different colour highlight everything not the same/similar and who you think the right person is to answer it
  • Send off what you need answered
  • Copy over what is the same/similar
    Make sure you leave the office on time and enjoy the weekend

Seriously though, now that you have a plan for answering the next bid you can take five minutes here and there while you’re working on the response to tidy up an answer as you use it and save it in the right place in your library. It’s worth making sure you have an index system to track what you save, when you save it and when you change it so that it doesn’t become an alphabet soup.

This article was written by Kathryn Potter.

Kathryn’s experience in bid writing covers sectors as varied as IT outsourcing to financial services, security services to reprographics and construction and rail. She sees content as the cornerstone of proposal development and understands that no matter what, it needs to be relevant and up-to-date.

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