Marketing, PR and Sales staff spend more time writing than speaking. Yet writing skills continue to deteriorate. Money is poured into market research and branding. Thought leaders think. Experts advise. Marketing companies market.
However, this is wasted money if we can’t write for a target audience.
Technology has changed our lives. We write more than ever before. Think about these facts:
- Emails connect us to our customers in seconds.
- Facebook exposes us to 800million people.
- Twitter allows us to speak to anyone who tweets.
- LinkedIn connects us with global business.
- Mobile phones encourage us to use fewer characters to say more.
Why, then, does poor writing etiquette continue to grow?
Poor grammar, misspelling, slang and arbitrary redefinitions have all but destroyed communications. Who knew that ‘dog’ would mean ‘friend’ in some sub-cultures in 2011? Twitter says we need 140 characters to send a message. The irony is that we need to be brilliant writers to use 140 characters effectively.
Why are successful businessmen good writers?
Before we talk with colleagues or clients, we have to write to them. This is how we make our first impression. We must be able to persuade a client to meet us through the written word. We must write effectively, without making mistakes. We should write in the tone and the style we wish to project.
Successful people write to communicate.
Writing is the future. Companies who invest in training staff to write, will succeed. There are also laws designed to ensure people understand communications. A brilliantly planned marketing ‘gimmick’, or well-researched advertising ‘hook’, needs to comply with Plain Language Legislation.
As one master communicator said, ‘One should aim not at being possible to understand, but at being impossible to misunderstand.’ Quintilian, 35AD
by Anton Behr and Amanda Patterson, 2011
If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme.