To ensure your own success with reports, be sensitive to audience needs, build strong relationships with your audience, and control your style and tone. The following four aspects of audience sensitivity apply to reports and proposals: adopting the "you" attitude, maintaining a strong sense of etiquette, emphasizing the positive, and using bias-free language. With previews, summaries, appendixes, and other elements, you can meet the needs of a diverse audience—provided you plan for these elements in advance. Whether your report is intended for people inside or outside the company, be sure to plan how you will adapt your style and your language to reflect the image of your organization. Bear in mind that some reports can take on lives of their own, reaching a wider audience than you ever imagined and being read years after you wrote them, so choose your content and language with care. Whether you’re writing a report or a proposal, you'll need to decide on the appropriate style and tone. Make your tone too informal, and your audience might be put off by your casual approach. Make it too formal, and you could come across as impersonal and distant, perhaps too rigid to form a strong working relationship with others. Your level of formality is closely related to your document’s format, length, and organization, as well as to your relationship with the audience. If you know your readers reasonably well and your report is likely to meet with their approval, you can generally adopt a fairly informal tone. To make your tone more formal, use the impersonal journalism style: Emphasize objectivity, ensure that content is free from personal opinion, and build your argument on provable facts. A more formal tone is appropriate for longer reports, especially those dealing with controversial or complex information. Also, communicating with people in other cultures often calls for more formality—for two reasons. First, the business environment outside the United States tends to be more formal in general, and that formality must be reflected in your communication. Second, the things you do to make a document informal (such as using humor and idiomatic language) tend to translate poorly or not at all from one culture to another.