Point, evidence, explain: why you should PEE on your comms
What is PEE?
All writing has a purpose.
You might be trying to convince someone to buy your product, or conveying important information. No matter what it is, you’re trying to get results.
Of course, these results rely on your audience being able to understand what you’re going on about. If your writing isn’t structured clearly or your arguments aren’t backed up, chances are your content might not have the intended effect. This is where PEE* can help.
You might remember PEE from your high school English lessons. It’s an acronym and stands for ‘point evidence explain’. PEE is a method for organising and structuring your writing to make sure it’s easy to follow and makes a strong point.
*Get it out of your system and stop sniggering. PEE could be a lifesaver for your business’s communications.
Why use ‘point evidence explain’?
If you’re an expert in your field (as many innovative tech businesses are), we bet you have some pretty interesting and important things to say.
However, if writing doesn’t come naturally to you, there’s a chance your interesting and important opinions may not come across. And that’s fine — everyone has different strengths, and the world would be a boring place if we didn’t.
Sometimes we can overcomplicate things, and end up not saying what we mean. Using ‘point evidence explain’ in your writing can help order your thoughts, and make your writing easier to follow. This is vital whatever you’re writing, but especially when creating marketing communications.
You can use PEE in…
- Web copy
- Press releases
- Blog posts
- Staff documents
- …And more!
Basically, if you’re writing it – you can PEE on it.
How to use PEE
Typically, PEE is a method for structuring paragraphs.
Another golden high school English tip worth remembering: it’s good practice to start a new paragraph each time you change topic. And in each paragraph, you should use ‘point evidence explain’. So, whenever you make a point, give evidence to support it then explain why it matters.
Here are the steps in more detail…
This is the main bit and should encapsulate what you’re trying to say. It will usually be a straightforward statement.
If you think about a news story, your point is like the headline or opening: simple and upfront.
Once you’ve made a point, you should provide evidence to back it up. Especially if your statement is a bold one. Sweeping generalisations aren’t as persuasive as specific examples: back up your point with facts, data, and quotes.
This is especially important for things like PR: journalists are under strict pressure to be accurate, so backing up your claims with evidence will make life much easier for them. Likewise, with so much information at their fingertips, consumers are smarter than they used to be. Buyers can be wary of the claims brands make, so supporting them with evidence will help you win over potential customers.
So you’ve made your point and given some hard-hitting stats and figures to back it up. You should round off your paragraph by explaining why your evidence is significant, or how it relates back to your original point.
Point, evidence, explain in action
Here’s an example – taken from one of our blog posts – to demonstrate how ‘point evidence explain’ might look in action…
- POINT: Content marketing is much more effective than outbound marketing methods.
- EVIDENCE: 70% of consumers say they distrust advertising, and up to 90% of customers will skip ads on digital TV if they can.
- EXPLAIN: With customers going out of their way to avoid outbound marketing, it makes more sense for your business to create content that consumers will be reading and searching for anyway.
Pretty simple, right?
Once you get the hang of it, you needn’t be so formulaic about using PEE. You can mix it up and be more creative, as long as you remember to provide the all-important information needed to persuade your readers.
Now, go forth and PEE on your comms!