December 17, 2012 by K. L. Wightman
In this economy when many company positions are on the chopping block, jobs for writing and editing seem to be the first to go.
A business has no obligation to maintain writing and editing positions on the payroll. A business that wants to stay in business makes choices that will be best to the survival and success of that business.
But aren’t writing and editing skills essential for business survival and success?
Many of us think that we can write. With social media at our fingertips, it only takes seconds to publish what we want to say. We can quickly fix our grammatical errors thanks to spell checking applications without learning from our mistakes.
Often businesses have this mentality. Too many times have I read business materials with sentences that have misspelled words or misuses of apostrophes–or that aren’t even coherent. And too many times have I submitted my application to these companies without receiving an email of interest.
Have businesses forgotten the importance of writing?
Websites are where many (if not most) clients receive their information about a business, not to mention social media, print handouts, billboards, posters, and email communication (this isn’t a conclusive list). Although visuals are highly effective in marketing, the written word is still the main way businesses communicate with clients.
In other words, writing is the hello handshake in business conversation.
What does writing well do for a business? These characteristics come to mind:
Writing well shows that a business is sharp on its skills and are willing to take the time to look up the difference between their and there. A client assumes that if a business knows grammar and sentence structure (or takes time to research it), the business is knowledgeable across other fields, and this brings reliability on the assertions made by the business.
Writing well is the equivalent of wearing proper business clothes and maintaining clean hygiene for an important business meeting. A client can dismiss a business at any moment, and poor writing gives the client an early excuse to discontinue potential interest. Even in social media where the conversation between business and client are often casual, the client deserves the same caliber of correctness.
Writing well means defining all aspects of the business efficiently and engagingly. Respecting a client’s time and holding the client’s attention are key in the client’s decision to pursue a business. This also applies to potential employees reading job posts, trying to identify if their skills match the position and/or if the business is a good fit for him/her.
Conversation turns engaging when the client can relate to the company. Writing well and utilizing key words presents how the client and the business share the same goals and values. The client soon forgets to look for errors and focuses on what’s being stated instead on if it’s being stated correctly.
Internal communication is just as important as external communication (emails, letters, memos, etc.). When an employee conveys a message effectively in writing, then the message can be understood by other employees in the shortest amount of time so that necessary action isn’t delayed.
There are more characteristics that I’m sure I missed.
Business should be done the write way (obnoxious and grammatically incorrect pun unfortunately intended).