Effective Business Documents You are a Writer. You are a Document Designer. Communication can be effective only if: • It is planned and organized well • Uses appropriate language • Uses effective layout and visual aids • Uses an appropriate format•Hartley and Bruckmann, 2002
• Written Communication to achieve a Business Objective:• Tell someone what to do or how to do something (Instruction sheets/ manuals)• Give someone accurate information (product info sheet)• Market a product or an event (advt/ press release)• Persuade someone to set up or continue with a project (project proposal/report)
Main Strategies used by Writers:Watercolourists• Tend to write ‘in one pass’ from mental plan• Tend to review and revise on screen rather than print out draftsArchitects• Make detailed plan• Do a draft, then print out. Revise paper version and then return to computer•Hartley and Bruckmann, 2002
Bricklayers• Build the text up sentence by sentence• Revise on screen as they goSketchers• Produce rough plan• Make frequent revision and review/ revise both on screen and from pare draft
Oil Painters• Start by drafting rather than planning, working from broad headlines• Review drafts on paper
Steps in Business Writing• Write down your purpose• Assemble the information• Group the information• Put the information into logical sequence• Produce an outline• Write the first draft• Edit and write the final draft
Clear Objectives lead to New and Better Documents To inform To support To assess To classify To evaluate To persuade To demonstrate To describe
• Defining Objectives• Phrasing Objectives To show that replacing our current management information system with the Abacus system will : Improve our management decisions Give operating staff more satisfying jobs; and Save on running costs
Structuring Information• From the audience/ reader’s point of view:• The ordering, logic and/or classification should make sense to the reader• Information which is clearly structured is easily absorbed or retained
• Methods:• Chunking: Breaking down info into sections or chunks• Ordering: working the chunks into a useful order• Signposting: offering clues or signals to explain /demonstrate how info is structured and prepare the reader for a change in direction (signalling words/phrases, linking words /phrases)
Methods using these 3 PrinciplesOutlining :• Point outlines• Headings, subheadings• Mind Maps/ Spider-diagrams• Pyramids
• A Mind Map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.• Emphasis: images, colours and spacing• Association: links, developing your own codes
PAIBOCP What are your purposes in writing?A Who is (are) your audiences?I What information must your message include?
B What reasons or reader benefits can you use to support your position?O What objections can you expect your reader(s) to have?C How will the context affect reader response?
DIRECT REQUEST ASKING FOR INFO/SERVICE DETAILS REQUEST FOR ACTION
DIRECT INDIRECT APPROACH APPROACH•FIRMNESS ISNEEDED •AUDIENCE WILL BE DISAPPOINTED•READER WON’T BEDISAPPOINTED •AUDIENCE IS EMOTIONALLY•SITUATION IS INVOLVEDROUTINE OR MINOR•AUDIENCE PREFERSBAD NEWS FIRST
BUFFERS• NEUTRAL• RELEVANT• NOT MISLEADING• ASSERTIVE• SUCCINCT
NEGATIVE MESSAGES• GIVE THE BAD NEWS• ENSURE ITS ACCEPTANCE• MAINTAIN READER’S GOODWILL• MAINTAIN ORGANIZATION’S GOOD IMAGE• REDUCE FUTURE CORRESPONDENCE ON THE MATTER
• Reason that hurts company :• Our company is not hiring at the present time because profits are down. In fact, the downturn has prompted top management to reduce the salaried staff by 5% just this month, with perhaps more reductions to come.• Better:• Our company does not have any openings now.
• Giving Bad news to • Giving Bad news to Superiors: Peers and Subordinates:• Shared Problem • Shared Problem• Details • Alternatives• Alternatives • Request for Action/• Request for Action Input
PROBLEM-SOLVING MESSAGE• SHARED PROBLEM• DETAILS• SOLUTION• NEGATIVES – OUTWEIGHED BY ADVANTAGES• READER BENEFITS• REQUEST FOR ACTION
THE AIDA ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN• ATTENTION• INTEREST• DESIRE• ACTION