Financially Responsible Marketing

Best practices for business writing

Posted by on Jul 27, 2011

Business documents are a direct reflection of you, your business platforms and your organization.  From reports and proposals to letters and e-mails, your business documents can be an integral part of your success, or a contributing factor to missed opportunities.  A blank page or computer screen can be intimidating, but instead of feeling overwhelmed, consider the following when composing your next business communication:

  • Identify your primary and secondary objectives before writing to establish your focus.
  • State your primary objective concisely to ensure it doesn’t get lost in your writing.
  • Be aware of your audience. If your piece is consumer facing ensure that you are using language that appeals to the consumer.  Avoid industry terms, business acronyms and terminology which although familiar to your business associates, do not resonate with the general public.
  • Identify your tone.  For more professional documents such as reports or proposals use formal, direct language which pertains to the benefits of the subject matter instead of emotional context.  Consumer facing collateral has more flexibility in the tone, depending on the subject matter.  Establish your tone and remain consistent.
  • Be aware of tense.  Wavering between past, present and future tense creates confusion and demonstrates a lack of conviction in your writing.
  • Don’t just spell check – proofread!  Predictive text may input incorrect verbiage, grammar errors can evade spell check and a final read-through ensures your document flows, and delivers on your objectives.

Are your written communications clear, concise and professional? Have you established a set of internal guidelines to ensure consistency within your organization?