Happy New Year! Welcome to the first 2013 edition of Business writing ideas.
I hope you enjoyed the festive season and whatever break from work you may have had (or are having still!)
We unexpectedly hosted Christmas dinner so Christmas Eve was rather hectic but we survived and had a lovely time on the Day. My children have hardly left their new trampoline since Christmas morning so that was certainly a successful gift choice!
I spoke to some other business owners over Christmas, too, and it was interesting to hear how many found 2012 a tough year. The positive, however, was that they took a look at their business and their competitors’ businesses, using that knowledge to make (or plan) some change to make 2013 a much better year.
Changes mentioned were building more relationships over the long term for marketing purposes, outsourcing more work and expanding to different clients (including offering packages in a new way).
As I mentioned in my December newsletter, I outsourced more work in 2012 and plan to increase that again in 2013 so I have more time available for clients who want communications advice and ideas.
Have you planned any changes for the new year? Or set some challenging goals for yourself? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!
Use your words wisely and have a great 2013,
Recent blog posts you may find useful:
You’d think the big guys would get it right…
Translation and transcription styles
Do you need to hire an expert?
Honesty in your blog comments
The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.
— Tony Robbins
By Tash Hughes of Word
Sometimes as a business owner or manager you need to communicate some tough messages to people. Maybe they aren’t working well, you have to fire or retrench someone, you need to deal with a workplace bully or you have to confront someone about a sensitive topic.
When having these conversations or writing related letters/emails, I think it’s important to be respectful and remove yourself emotionally as much as possible. That is, be involved but try to keep your own feelings out of the way so you can stay calm and focussed on the person and issue at hand.
Where feasible, include positives as well as negatives in your message. Preferably, give two positives, the negative and then another positive.
For example ‘I love the presentation of the report and you’ve obviously put a lot of work into it. However, I think it needs more detail about option 2 and a clearer conclusion. It’s great you did it ahead of time though!’
Adding positives helps maintain the other person’s self-esteem and is likely to lead to a constructive outcome instead of them feeling attacked and needing to be defensive.
If you want to learn more about managing metal health and stress within your business or workplace, one resource you may find useful is Business in Mind.
Do you suffer backpain? Time to change up to the Kneelsit ergonomic computer chair - for a healthy back, perfect posture and superb comfort.
An unlabelled picture tells 500 words
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions
We’ve been told that a picture paints a thousand words, and it’s true that a picture can give a lot of information very quickly.
In business, it would be very difficult to sell products in particular if we didn’t use images.
However, I’ve also seen businesses, particularly on websites, go to the extreme of only showing pictures. It doesn’t work.
Pictures only on instagram or pinterest may be fine, especially in a social context, but adding a label to a picture adds a lot more power.
Sometimes I see a picture and wonder what it is or what the background story is. If I am left wondering, the business has not communicated effectively with me and it may cost them a sale. Let’s face it, I’m not going to buy something if I’m not sure what it is or how it could help me!
A label doesn’t need to be long – in fact, short is usually more effective – but adding a label can clarify an image or its relevance, and can be used to pull the focus to where you want it to be.
For example, this Love Santa pin could be about babies, tinsel or Christmas but the label brings the focus onto the gum tree as part of an Australian Christmas.
Whether itís a business book or something to relax with, not paying for delivery is great!
Theory has its place, but an example often makes learning something much easier. In many areas, an example of a mistake or poor quality is an even more effective teacher than examples of the correct technique so here is such an example to learn from…
I noted the following (and many others, unfortunately) from an article on a business site, written by someone calling herself a freelance writer.
Since, the common route now for better online visibility is website creation, it is really vital that your business or company is not left behind on this objective.
Overall, this sentence is just very awkward and difficult to read.
Since refers to the time between a defined point and now – it doesn’t make sense by itself.
‘the common route now’ – now implies this is a recent change but having a website has been important for online visibility for years, and has been common practice for businesses for years.
Website creation is a useful thing but in itself does not give anyone online visibility – or anything much else except some html (or similar) coding. Having a website live on the internet gives you visibility, not the creation of a site.
Words like vital are emphatic and do not need a qualifier. That is, something is vital or it is not.
‘not left behind on this objective’ –people don’t talk like this so it doesn’t flow easily. What objective is she advising businesses to meet? She hasn’t defined an objective anywhere so she could be referring to online visibility or creating a website.
It is better to make the text longer and/or break it into two sentences if it means a simpler and clearer message.
Having a website is a common way to get online visibility so it is vital to get a website and not be left behind.
It is vital for your business to have a website for online visibility.
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