How do we communicate in business in the modern era? Gone are the days of quill pens and ink. Some would say also that gone are the days of writing a letter.
Technology now rules our lives and the way we communicate, especially in business, has changed for ever. Email and social media messaging have now become the leading methods of communication between businesses.
Millions of people use social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging and many more methods to get their messages across, however, there are times when we do need to use a more traditional form of communication, like a letter or an email, but do we know how to write one in a professional and business-like way?
Being professional is still paramount when it comes to communicating to others what we want them to know about our businesses. You’ve probably spent ages working your socks off to build up your professional reputation. Why spoil it and give it all away by being unprofessional or making careless mistakes.
Many years ago, in a previous employment, I actually went on a course to learn, amongst other things, how to write a business letter – that shows how long ago it was – and I can still remember some of the things I learned and I continue to use those principles today, although more in emails than letters. For example, I was taught never to begin a sentence with the word ‘however’. Nowadays it doesn’t seem to make any difference but I still uphold my own standards.
I sometimes wonder whether staff nowadays are ‘taught’ or ‘trained’ how to write a professional or business-like email. I see many emails where the language used is either wholly inappropriate or is full of basic grammatical and spelling errors. It worries me that business owners and managers may not be aware of the quality of some of the emails that are emanating from their offices and what they are allowing their staff to send out on behalf of their businesses.
As a proofreader, I believe that any form of written material produced by a business is either promoting the business or reflecting back on the quality of the business. It is vitally important, therefore, that this shop window is showing off your business in the best possible light.
So, over the coming weeks, I am going to be looking at the way we write in business and share with you some of my thoughts on how you can become a better business writer. There are many differing opinions on how we should and should not write from a business point of view. These thoughts are mine and are based on 35+ years of experience of business writing and on how I would prefer to receive written material from businesses.
Whilst you are here, take a look at the rest of my website to learn more about what I can do to help you.
Look out for Part 2 of this ‘Better Business Writing ‘series entitled “Get your email noticed”