Best-Practice Writing Tips for Corporate Communicators
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Best-Practice Writing Tips for Corporate Communicators

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This presentation unpacks how to write with more power, polity, persuasiveness, clarity, cleanliness, conciseness and credibility, especially in the corporate world. If you're a PR person, media ...

This presentation unpacks how to write with more power, polity, persuasiveness, clarity, cleanliness, conciseness and credibility, especially in the corporate world. If you're a PR person, media officer or corporate comms specialist, you need to look at this presentation. Today. [Created for the 2014 STC Strategic Media & PR Conference, 30 Jan 2014.]

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Best-Practice Writing Tips for Corporate Communicators Best-Practice Writing Tips for Corporate Communicators Presentation Transcript

  • Strategic Public Relations & Media Strategy Conference Spectacular Training & Conferences January 2014
  • Best-Practice Writing Tips for PR Practitioners & Corporate Communicators
  • 5
  • 3500
  • Everybody is tapped out.
  • Everybody is time-poor.
  • Everybody wants to run away and hide.
  • I’m Tiffany Markman Business Writer Columnist & Author Writing Trainer
  • @tiffanymarkman #writingtips
  • Writing with POWER, polity & PERSUASIVENESS
  • MATCHING clarity with cleanliness, conciseness & CREDIBILITY
  • To repeat: 1.Power 2.Polity 3.Persuasiveness 4.Clarity 5.Cleanliness 6.Conciseness 7.Credibility
  • 1. Writing with POWER
  • ABANDON: waffle, archaic language, empty flattery, and pseudo-apology
  • Herewith please find attached  I’ve attached
  • In light of the fact that  because
  • Kindly peruse  Please review
  • Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate…  Please feel free to contact me…
  • 2. Writing with POLITY
  • “ If you are going to tell a lie, don’t tell a little one - it will be recognised as a lie. Tell the biggest, most unthinkable lie. Keep telling it. People will think it must be the truth and believe it. The greater the lie, the more effective it is as a weapon. “
  • What’s POLITY? Diplomacy. Tact. Honesty.
  • Here’s how to do it WRONG.
  • We regret to inform you that  We’re sorry to advise
  • There have been negative implications  The bad news is that
  • With regards to issues of disability, we’ve directed all departments to ensure that we meet the target we set several years ago, of having 2% of our people be disabled persons. *
  • WHAT?
  •  WE’VE NOT MET OUR 2% employee disability target and we’re taking real steps to change that…
  • 3. Writing with PERSUASIVENESS
  • NOTE: THIS IS NOT HARD SELL. It is compelling, real & filled with REASONS to act.
  • Sign up for our newsletter NOW & be the first to know
  • We understand how important it is for you to receive regular and proficient communication from us. Accordingly we are pleased to introduce…
  • Sign up. Know stuff. Share stuff. Win stuff. Yes, the whole world wants to send you newsletters, but ours has really good content in it, every single month…
  • We pride ourselves on quality content, thought leadership and the early adoption of good ideas, so this is what you will find in our monthly newsletter…
  • 4. Writing with CLARITY
  • HOW ABOUT just saying what you mean?
  • Our offices never open late.  Our offices always open on time.
  • High-quality learning environments are a necessary precondition for facilitation and enhancement of the learning process.  Children need good schools if they are to learn properly.
  • We want to develop an efficient, integrated global business by leading the market in our focus areas. *  We want to become widely known as the very best at what we do.
  • We want to become widely known as the very best at what we do: banking.
  • 5. Writing with CLEANLINESS
  • 1. Adjectives 2. Adverbs 3. Repetition
  • The company has actively decided…  The company has resolved
  • We have segmented our target audience into niche groups…  We have segmented our market...
  • Our golf day kicked off on a beautiful summer morning under blue skies.  Weather: Johannesburg summer. Tee time: 9am. Call to arms: the XYZ Client Golf Day.
  • Our values require that our directors and employees behave with integrity and display consistent and uncompromising moral strength… *
  • At our company, integrity and ethics are non-negotiable.
  • 6. Writing with CONCISENESS
  • Ensure that the facts are strong enough to S T A N D A L O N E.
  • We are very proud to present a brand new and innovative development in internal company communication: the cutting-edge XYZ forum.  Introducing our new employee chat forum: XYZ. You can message colleagues, share calendars and integrate projects…
  • 80% 20%
  • Some jargon can make your brand look wonky.
  • 7. Writing with CREDIBILITY
  • 1. WATCH YOUR SENTENCE L E N G T H.
  • THIS IS TOO LONG: The home comprises large, integrated reception areas, upstairs and downstairs, with wood-burning fireplace and veranda and balconies that embrace incredible garden vistas and take your breath away. 29 words
  • THIS IS BETTER: This home has large, integrated reception areas, upstairs and downstairs. Expect woodburning fireplaces and balconies with garden views that take your breath away. 10 words; 13 words
  • Rules for SENTENCE LENGTH? 14 words max. Use fragments. Keep it simple.
  • 2. AVOID AWFUL WORDS & PHRASES.
  • ‘boasts’
  • ‘well-known’
  • ‘innovative’
  • ‘unique’
  • 3. SPELLING. SPELLING. SPELLING.
  • seperate
  • invester
  • intergrated
  • PLEASE go beyond spell-check.
  • Public Holidays
  • Pubic Holidays
  • 4. APOSTROPHES ARE IMPORTANT.
  • THE wrong way
  • visitor’s parking
  • Ladies & Gent’s visitor’s parking
  • it’s vs its
  • Don’t judge the book by it’s cover.
  • Its all about location.
  • Rules for APOSTROPHES: contraction & possession; NOT PLURAL
  • 5. CHOOSE STRONG VERBS.
  • A small space in which to make a large impact
  • Don’t rely on ADJECTIVES
  • DESCRIBE THE ACTION: Stroll Sit back Entertain Experience Relax
  • WIIFM?
  • 6. USE GOOD STYLE.
  • Avoid “INVERTED COMMAS”.
  • Just a “stone’s throw” away
  • Put spacing after full stops.Please.
  • 18 m
  • Don’t do this!!!
  • Don’t USE caps for EMPHASIS.
  • Let’s talk technique.
  • In order: Who? WHAT & WHERE? Why? HOW & WHEN?
  • AIDA
  • ATT ENT ION
  • interest
  • DESIRE
  • action
  • The end.
  • THANK YOU. ANY QUESTIONS? www.tiffanymarkman.co.za