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A proposal writer can fill many different niches. When most people think of proposal writers, they automatically think of people who write requests for grant money. Although grant proposal writers are among the largest groups of proposal writers, there are many other types, as well. For example, proposal writers can work in the entertainment industry or in the financial sector.
Before looking at a few specific kinds of proposal writers, it is important to consider what a proposal writer does in general. The ability to write clearly, concisely, and effectively is of the utmost importance, since it is the primary method of communication in the field. In addition, grammatical, typographical, and other errors are considered to be unprofessional and unforgivable by many employers. Close attention to the most minute details, organization, and sensitivity to deadlines are also very important skills.
In the entertainment industry, a quality proposal writer is the key to the success of many television shows, commercials, movies, and radio spots. For example, a television show has a team of writers who develop a storyline. That storyline is then enacted by a group of actors while the world watches them on television. Although the writers on the show may finalize the details of the script, there is often a proposal writer who comes up with larger storyline.
The proposal writer in the entertainment industry may also propose a way to creatively communicate a specific event that happens between a few characters. Once the idea is in her mind, she must be able to communicate the idea to the other writers through a written report. The proposal writer must think of and propose hundreds of ideas each season for a 30-minute show. The same concept can be seen in commercials, movies, and radio – a proposal writer proposes the ideas to a team of writers.
In the financial sector, this position is also important. For example, she may be responsible for proposing financial plans for the clients of a financial services company. A senior writer will be in charge of evaluating a proposal, strategizing how it will fit into a company, and managing a deadline that will ensure that the proposal will reach the clients in a timely manner. She may be responsible for drafting a proposal that emphasizes a particular feature that the financial services company can offer clients or simply rewriting stock answers so that they are geared towards a specific client.
A grant proposal writer will typically research grant opportunities and write applications for particular grants. In addition, she may be responsible for writing business plans and other proposals that are of interest to her employer. The grant proposals are often to government agencies and various foundations. The grant proposals must follow specific guidelines related to funding sources. Grant proposals are typically driven by deadlines, so organization and efficiency are great skills to have.