Finding Your Niche: Writing Corporate Histories

An excerpt from the Freelance Writer’s Toolkit.

Become an expert at something. While you may perform well in all the areas listed below, train yourself in one of them. I tried all of them and found that I excelled in a few select areas. Those are the areas that I specialize in and now I am turning people away who want to hire me.

Writing a corporate history is an important business tool. Frequently, potential clients will base their decisions on whether or not to hire a corporation based on the company’s past history. Compiling a corporate history takes a little bit of time and effort but will benefit the company in the end.

Begin the corporate history with a list of the current owners and board members. Include a brief biography on each person and what the position is in the company. Include in this section the corporations mission statement and why they are writing a corporate history.

Include a photograph section that shows the growth of the corporation over time. Perhaps the company had its beginnings in a warehouse or basement and now they occupy a entire 10-building complex. Showing the growth of the corporation in a pictorial history adds depth to your narrative.

Bring in the past. In the next section, write about the key players in the corporation over the years: past presidents, board members, managers and other influential employees. Include brief biographies on these people and write about their contributions to the company.

Include a section about how the corporation has interacted with the community. In this era of “going green,” it is an asset to a company to be active in their community and to take an active role in preserving the environment. Show in this section how the corporation has participated in charity events, etc.

Add only the major events that happened to a corporation that had positive outcomes. Because the corporate history is a valuable marketing tool, you do not want to include things like the time your office manager was indicted for money laundering!

Find a reputable printing company to print and bind your corporate history. If money is an issue, check out small presses such as Lulu or Infinity Publishing.

Add your corporate history to your bookshelves and distribute a free copy to potential clients.

  • Consider sending out copies of the history to potential clients as a marketing tool.
  • List your corporate history with online booksellers.
  • Donate a copy of the history to local libraries.

Order the Freelance Writer’s Toolkit for more help with starting and running a successful business.

Published by: Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.

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