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The Old and the New: Business Writing


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This presentation by Stephen Bush summarizes practical examples about making business writing more effective by paying attention to obsolete strategies and new solutions.

Published in: Business
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The Old and the New: Business Writing

  2. 2. UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL CONTENT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW The New — Focus on truly unique content and place articles on one or two primary websites. Suggested Strategy — Publish content that is genuinely unique. The Old — Use article spinning to create multiple versions of the same content.
  3. 3. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION INSTEAD OF LESS The Old — Make written content “short and sweet” (250 to 400 words). The New — Provide more details with longer explanations (often exceeding 750 words). Suggested Strategy — Resist the temptation to over-simplify business writing.
  4. 4. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW REMEMBER NICHE AUDIENCES WITH WHITE PAPERS The Old — Keep content generalized and write only for mass audiences. The New — Always think of niche audiences with detailed content in white papers. Suggested Strategy — Focus on white papers for products, services and topics of all kinds.
  5. 5. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW DO ADS IMPROVE THE READER’S UNDERSTANDING OF WRITTEN CONTENT? The Old — The working assumption = Readers don’t mind relevant ads when reviewing content. The New — Readers want to focus on compelling content that is not disrupted by ads. Suggested Strategy — Think about minimizing advertising for maximum readership.
  6. 6. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW DON’T OVERLOOK THE IMPACT OF CUSTOMIZED TEXT IN IMAGES The Old — Textual images and animated video/slide presentations are “too cute” to be effective. The New — SlideShare and YouTube presentations work well in conjunction with textual images. Suggested Strategy — Feature images that include customized text.
  7. 7. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW ONE-PAGE PROPOSALS? The Old — Business proposals only “work” if they are lengthy. The New — The most effective business proposal often includes only one page. Suggested Strategy — Learn how to prepare and present a one- page proposal.
  8. 8. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW MANY INTERNET PUBLISHERS HAVE ALREADY GONE OUT OF BUSINESS The Old — The working assumption = Writing for big internet publishers provides maximum visibility and income. The New — Business writing can be more effective on smaller websites. Suggested Strategy — Pay less attention to “well-known” websites with little or no traffic generated by search engines.
  9. 9. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW UNSOLICITED BUSINESS PROPOSALS? The Old — The working assumption = Business proposals are not used unless requested by a prospective client. The New — Unsolicited business proposals can provide maximum impact and results. Suggested Strategy — Make a concerted effort to use and perfect unsolicited business proposals.
  10. 10. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW WHAT IS YOUR PLAN B? The Old — Adopting one business writing strategy and ignoring the possibility that it might not work. The New — Applying contingency planning to business writing by constantly asking: What if something goes wrong? Suggested Strategy — Always have a Plan B.
  11. 11. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OLD AND THE NEW EFFECTIVE BUSINESS WRITING HAS MULTIPLE BENEFITS The Old — The working assumption = High-quality business writing provides limited value for organizations. The New — Business writing can help individuals and businesses eliminate multiple recurring problems. Suggested Strategy — Review the different ways that business writing can help. Three examples: With lender negotiations, new business development and inbound marketing.
  12. 12. “THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN COMMUNICATION IS TO HEAR WHAT ISN’T BEING SAID.” (PETER DRUCKER) BUSINESS WRITING ADVICE IN 14 WORDS OR LESS “Easy-to-read is hard to write.” (Pam Zollman) “Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.” (Jules Renard) “Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” (Bill Wheeler) “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” (Mark Twain) “Writing is seeing. It is paying attention.” (Kate DiCamillo) “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” (James Michener)
  13. 13. AVOID THESE OLD AND INEFFECTIVE BUSINESS WRITING STRATEGIES AVOIDING MISTAKES Poorly-written business communication in any context Too much promotion and not enough information Article spinning and duplicate content Website publishers with excessive advertising Unnecessary links Misleading claims Free press releases Overused stock photo images Not having a Plan B Repeating the same mistake over and over again