Master This- Which Comes First: The Proposal Writing or the Graphics?


Are you ready to elevate your messaging to help win more work?

Powerful proposals purposefully partner strong writing with compelling graphics. But how do we get there? And which comes first: the writing or the graphics?  

To be successful, today’s marketers need to understand that people take in information as much through reading as they do by looking at graphics. In fact, the human brain can process images up to 60,000 times faster than words—so why do so many of our proposals end up looking like War and Peace, without a graphic in sight? 

In this master class, we’ll discuss how to develop a strong message that’s conveyed through a winning balance of writing and graphics. Marketer Jen McGovern, CPSM, and designer Amanda Cross will share best practices gained through preparing hundreds of proposals for public and private clients nationwide. Participants will leave with an understanding of how writing and design can work together to elevate messaging and help you win more work.  

During this three-part series , participants will learn how to: 

  • Develop an overall strategy for proposals and marketing pieces
  • Write with design in mind 
  • Use design best practices to highlight important content
  • Partner effectively with their marketing or graphic design counterpart and work in tandem   


Jen McGovern, CPSM

Regional Marketing Manager, VHB

Jen McGovern, CPSM, regional marketing manager at VHB, knows what it takes to put together a strong proposal. She oversees the marketing efforts for seven of VHB’s offices, which means she has prepared and reviewed hundreds of proposals. A frequent writer and presenter, Jen is president of SMPS Washington, DC, and a member of the Marketer Editorial Committee. She achieved her CPSM in 2015. 

Amanda Cross

Senior Creative Design Specialist


Session 1: The Power of Writing and Design
We’ll present an overview of writing and design—what impact each has on the overall product and how you need to develop a strategy to make sure they work together for success. You must register to access.
Session 2: Start Strategically
We’ll dive deep into how to develop that strategy and share real-world examples of how the writing and design of a proposal progresses from outline to rough draft. You must register to access.
Session 3: Finish Strong
We’ll follow that strategy through revisions and final touches, progressing those real-world examples from rough draft to final product. You must register to access.