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Eight Painless Steps to Making Your Business Writing Sparkle
Guest articles > Eight Painless Steps to Making Your Business Writing Sparkle
by: Robert Deigh
Good business writing can boost your company's profitability and reputation. The more your customers and prospects understand the value you provide, the more likely they are to make the "right" buying decision. Good writing is critical to your public relations efforts.
Whether it be in the form of emails, Web sites, presentations, exhibits or print materials such as marketing kits, letters, contracts, speeches, press releases, or case studies -- clear, concise business writing is part of your communication mix, so make it work for you.
Here are a few steps to get your organization's writing into shape and keep it that way.
1) Make sure you have a set of 5-6 clear messages that tell customers "Here is what we can do for you (and why)." Those will be the core of your written communications.
2) Step back and look at the big picture. Who is your audience? What actions do you want them to take? Which writing most directly touches your customers? For many companies, it's the Web site and product/service brochures. Tackle those first.
3) Fall out of love with outdated material. Send old Web pages and soggy sales materials to the right staffers to update and get back into print. Revamping a whole Web site is daunting; not so much if each person is responsible for only 2-3 pages.
4) Tackle the easy stuff first. Translate everything from Jargon into English. You'll be amazed at how that little act can make an enormous difference in the clarity and sparkle of your writing.
5) Get rid of clichés. Have security escort them from the building. No one on the team needs to "drill down and get more granular." Unless your company really is an "industry leader" don't use the term. Here are a few more phrases to avoid: (with their preferred English translations): "low-hanging fruit" (already interested in buying), "at the end of the day" (the net effect), "no brainer" (easy), "win-win" (mutually beneficial), "cutting edge" (innovative) and "talk off line" (chat in private).
6) Use newspaper style. Put the most important facts up top so readers can get the most information in the least amount of time.
7) Be concise. Cut all text in half. Do it again. Then, surgically remove redundant words like "current" services, "future" plans, "new" innovations. Make each word earn its place.
8) Now put it all back together. You have the right messages and call to action. You understand what gets your audience's attention. You have prioritized your communication vehicles and updated them. Everyone on your team will notice the difference. So will your customers.
Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and the author of "How Come No One Knows About Us?" (WBusiness Books, available May 2008), the PR guide for organizations large and small that want to win big visibility. Deigh helps organizations increase their visibility and build their brands by creating strong and positive relationships with the press and other audiences. He is also a well-known speaker and trainer on media and PR topics. Want more free info to build your business? Subscribe to Deigh’s popular monthly 1-page online newsletter “PR Quick Tips” from his website at www.rdccommunication.com. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 703-503-9321.
Contributor: Robert Deigh
Published here on: 20-Jan-08