business writing ideas from Word Constructions      

 

 

welcome to the Word Constructions business ideas newsletter

Hello {name}! Welcome to the October edition of business writing ideas from Word Constructions.

I often find this is a quiet time for business - the end of financial year accounts and annual reports are done, the Christmas rush (in terms of preparations) is just starting, and people are more pro-active instead of stressed and rushed. Is it a quiet time for you?

Of course, it could be the end of school holidays makes it appear quieter, too!

Have you started working on your end of year (or start of 2011) sales and marketing yet? Given that designers and printers get really busy during November and most companies making gift type items are filling orders in December, getting in early can save a lot of worry closer to Christmas. It is also a good time to be talking to other businesses if you are thinking of any joint activities - leave it much longer and interested people will be booked up.

Tash

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  Yes, I am helping Santa write his letters to Australian children again this year. Have you thought of giving personalised letters as an unusual and memorable gift for clients and suppliers? Love Santa offers special arrangements for businesses and the prices have remained the same for 7 years!


Don't forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication
~ unknown


latest article

Dealing with feedback
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

In roles as a communications manager, I have had to juggle feedback from a number of sources to prepare documents.  And juggle is the right word as the feedback is sometimes contradictory and including everyone’s comments would result in a long, unwieldy document.

As part of the decision making process for each piece of feedback received, I consider:

  • who gave the feedback (CEO, lawyer, technical expert, writer, etc)

  • the context of the suggestion (e.g. legal requirement, grammatical issue)

  • external constraints (e.g. available space, prescribed text, standardised text, set styles)

  • usefulness of the change for the intended audience

  • marketing – will the change increase/decrease the marketing appeal of the document?

  • personal preferences (‘Black is the cat’ and ‘the cat is black’ are both correct but most people will prefer one version over the other)

Each factor affects how I react to that feedback; for example, if a lawyer gives me two pieces of feedback I will do exactly as she says in the disclaimer for legal reasons but not rewrite the heading because she prefers it another way.

Therefore, it is usually best if the person writing the final document sees who gave the feedback rather than have someone else compile it or adjust the document themselves.


Kneelsit - The Chair for Life
Writing or running a business can involve many hours sitting in front of a computer so why not make it comfortable and good for your back?


don't forget the basics

Add a comma after an introductory phrase
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

A comma generally shows where to take a breath (mentally or literally) when reading something. If you use a phrase or clause to introduce a sentence, you need a comma before writing the remainder of the sentence (as I've just done here!).

The part of the sentence after the comma could be used alone - the introductory part provides a context or additional information rather than a critical aspect.

Examples:

After trying on two pairs of shoes, Jenny bought some black boots.
Once the kitchen is cleaned, I will cook dinner.
As you get better at writing, it is easy to forget to proof read carefully.


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poor writing examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some real-life examples of writing that need a little help.

Many people refer to a language called legalese – it isn’t really a language but refers to the terminology and level of detail typically used by the legal profession. Today’s example is written by lawyers in a newsletter…

Example:

We can confirm that the draft legislation contemplates that …

Issues with this example:

It may be a safe statement, but to confirm something is being considered seems a waste of time; confirm means to make firm or strong whereas consider means it is being thought about so nothing has been decided yet. So useful sentences would be “we can confirm the legislation has been passed unchanged’ and “various options were contemplated in drafting the legislation.”

Legislation is inanimate (i.e. it is not a living thing with conscious thought) so it can’t really contemplate anything – be careful what words you use with inanimate objects.

 An improved version would be: (without changing the meaning)

We know that the draft legislation includes options for …

A better version would be: (without changing the meaning)

The draft legislation includes options for …


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