Think tanks and policy research / Healthcare

Area of training

Report writing


In-person courses, follow-up coaching and online learning



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Making crucial health information accessible for the people who need it

Researchers often face serious challenges when turning specialist, technical content into something policymakers or the public can understand – and act on.

The challenge

When your job is to help explain strategic healthcare challenges to leading public figures, you need to know that the documents you’re producing are not only accurate, but engaging and accessible. The Health Policy Partnership’s expert researchers write reports that help policymakers and the public understand key health issues – and make decisions based on their recommendations.

The managing directors needed to make sure the research team had the writing skills to create reports that could do this job, not least as the organisation and its breadth of work were expanding. The company was not prepared to lower its high editorial standards, around which its core market reputation had been built – meaning that new methods were needed to ensure consistency, clarity and quality across the board.

The solution

Emphasis developed a report-writing course that covered every stage of the writing process, from planning to reviewing. The course covered what turns detailed, data-heavy research into accessible yet accurate writing, appropriate for a lay audience, with attention-grabbing introductions and arresting endings. Critically, it also threw out the usual academic approach and delegates discovered the best structure for presenting such crucial information.

The team chose to follow up with coaching clinics – sending a second sample for analysis and having 40-minute one-to-one sessions with the trainer, so they could see their progress and zero in on any remaining sticking points in private.

While improving something as broad and personal as writing can take time, the team have a strong framework to keep upping their game – bolstered by access to online writing programme The complete business writer.

The results

‘Since the training, the managing directors have been extremely pleased with everyone’s progress,’ says Senior Editor Madeleine Murphy. ‘There’s a greater understanding across the team of how to build a compelling narrative and how to write for our target audiences. This means more time for senior colleagues on each project to devote to strategy and client and stakeholder liaison, which is a vital component of what we do.’

Best of all, the training has helped the team to nail down the company style, exactly as they’d hoped. ‘We have to take large amounts of research and turn it into accessible, impactful stories,’ says Madeleine. ‘Emphasis helped the researchers understand how to write in a way that is simple, without having to dumb down the information. The training was very helpful in developing our brand voice.’

‘There’s a greater understanding across the team of how to build a compelling narrative and how to write for our target audiences.’

Madeleine Murphy, Senior Editor, The Health Policy Partnership

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