business writing ideas from Word Constructions      

 

 

welcome to the Word Constructions business ideas newsletter

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

Have you ever done the activity where you have to describe something to someone so they can draw it? It sounds simple enough but it is not easy as my daughter discovered last weekend. For me, it was a reminder on how careful we need to be with our communications as we all bring our own perceptions to every interaction.

If you haven't ever tried such an activity, why not give it a go? Or try describing to someone (without looking at what they are doing) how to follow a common process on your computer. You may be surprised at what you can learn about clear communications from it. And reminded to get someone else to use your procedures before letting anyone rely on them.

Have a happy Mothers Day next Sunday, whether you celebrate it as a mother or with one. Until next month, use your words wisely!

Tash

Recent blog posts you may find useful: And blog posts you might like to answer:
Avoiding writer's block

Making your blog easy to use

Gift certificates for business services What issues do you face with your business blog?
What are product disclosure statements?  
when can a professional writer help?  

Word Constructions eBooks
P.S. I am very please to announce that I have now completed and released two
eBooks - one on general writing tips and the other is about writing procedures. Have a look and give me your feedback.


Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.
~  Sarah Caldwell


latest article

Being upfront
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Recently, a business providing me with a service announced it is closing and reminded me of the importance of being honest and up front with yourself and your clients (and potential clients for that matter).

Let's look at two real cases: business A decided that their services couldn't be maintained at a suitable standard so the business was to close, with a lead of time for existing clients and a refund of ongoing subscriptions (despite being partially fulfilled). A pity but managed professionally and leaving doors open for a potential future reopening of the business.

Business B on the other hand wasn't managing to provide the same level of service as in the past but instead of telling anyone just went quiet and left clients to figure it out for themselves. Paid subscribers didn't receive services, refunds or explanations so this business earned many negative comments and reviews which is making it hard for them to continue stumbling along.

Even when it is hard, telling people what is going on (preferably in advance but at any time is a help) is not only professional and respectful, but also maintains your credibility as a business person. Given that many people find change hard, making the process easy for people affected by changes in your business will be appreciated and people are more likely to help with those changes rather than get angry or hinder you.

For smaller changes, a blog or newsletter can be a great means of communicating with people especially as they can be somewhat personal. It's even okay to let people know 'something isn't working so I'm looking into solutions and options' and possibly even ask for suggestions - you might just be given the perfect answer!
 


The Nile -Australia's Largest Online Bookstore
Reading will improve your writing by default so a good book shop is a must!
 


don't forget the basics

Include every step
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Whether you are demonstrating a technique or writing a procedure, remember to include every step to be effective. For example, if I am writing a procedure so you could upload my blog posts while I was on holidays, it might look like this:

  1. click on 'add new' under 'posts' in left column
  2. type the title into the top box
  3. add content to main box
  4. click 'save draft'

However, that is pointless unless I have told you I use Word Press and my login details. So step 1 would be better as 'log into Word Press with provided details' - it may seem really obvious, but I can't assume you know that information.

It is not just the initial steps that get missed though - leaving out 'click ok' or 'in edit menu' are common steps missed from written procedures - so be sure to check every step is written down or shown.


Ymmu Bunch
While you could get Mum some flowers, how about something a little tastier?
 


poor 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.

Today's example (with identifying features changed) is from a media release written by a PR company who isn't careful with details like grammar and making sense.

Example:

Acme CEO Jenny Bright said there several key areas demand the attention of boards and executives

Issues with this example:

If you read it out loud exactly as it is, it is difficult to not stumble and it doesn't make sense! 'there several key areas' is obviously missing the word 'are'.

It is almost like two sentences have been put together without adjusting the grammar to make them flow; 'there are several key areas' works and 'key areas demand the attention' works, but 'are several key areas demand the attention' doesn't work because 'are demand' is incorrect.

Personally, I don't like 'demand the attention of' anyway - partly because inanimate objects or areas can't demand anything and partly because it isn't common-use terminology. I would prefer something about the key areas being important or boards need to consider these areas carefully, but I accept that PR companies like to write in a certain way.

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

Acme CEO Jenny Bright said several key areas demand the attention of boards and executives

OR

Acme CEO Jenny Bright said there are several key areas demanding the attention of boards and executives


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2011, Tash Hughes