In a background article on the leaked diplomatic cable archive, the NYT today discusses the "Ambassador's Cable Drafting Tips" by Richard E. Hoagland, the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan. From the article:
  • Pay attention to the first 5 words, they need to catch the reader's attention, they are the only thing diplomats see in the electronic cable queue
  • Avoid flabby writing (see this too often in diplomacy)
  • Incorporate story telling
  • But: cute writing is never acceptable, only for toddlers, not for professionals...
Now someone needs to leak these cable drafting tips so we can all learn from it...