People love to celebrate fundamentals. Basketball announcers extol the virtues of the shooting guard with the perfect stroke from beyond the arc or the player who can knock down free throws. You can infer a lot about a player with sound fundamentals because these skills aren’t innate but rather learned, usually at great cost—time, energy, determination. These skills are the result of a work ethic that belies their importance.
One of the root meanings of fundamental is foundational—“something without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse,” to quote Webster’s. So when it comes to being a writer and editor, the fundamentals that make someone effective pertain to the building blocks of writing: the rules and approaches to string together sentences in a logical, coherent, and compelling way. Someone with strong writing fundamentals can work quickly and efficiently and has a strong footing on which to accumulate knowledge. This is the kind of person we like to work with.
Annie Mullowney, the latest addition to Leff Communications, has fundamentals in spades. Building on an undergraduate degree in literature, Annie got her master’s in publishing from DePaul University. As part of this program, she went deeper into the fundamentals of good writing than most of us ever will.
And as impressive, she actively sought out new disciplines. At DePaul, she took a course in science technical writing because she saw it as a challenge to become comfortable with a topic with which she had little prior experience. At our company—where we often have to get up to speed on new industries and terminology to write effectively—curiosity and fearlessness are a great combination.
Prior to joining Leff Communications, Annie taught English at the college level. Anyone who has had to explain a concept knows that it takes a different level of understanding to impart knowledge rather than simply acquire it. (Read her full bio here.)
Initially, Annie will use her knowledge of fundamentals to ensure that every piece we produce meets a consistently high level of quality. As she becomes more familiar with the clients we serve, she will add industry expertise to her strong foundation of skills.
Please join me in welcoming Annie to the company. If you see her name on an e-mail, know that your project is in very good hands.