Shirley's Articles / Business Writing

Your Company Is Only As Good As Its Written Messages

The typical executive today spends approximately 20-25 percent of their time writing. Yet, very often, business writing is one of the last skills that people feel it’s important to work on. But look around your workplace – do your leaders write effectively? Do people tend to listen to good writers? Are good writers able to persuade or convince effectively?

Interestingly, many great leaders consider communication to be an essential competence in the workplace. So what about businesses in general?

Should Effective Business Writing Be A Company-wide Initiative?

Let’s look at some facts here:

  • More and more of our work today is undertaken through writing rather than in person or on the phone.
  • We depend on our writing skills to influence, persuade, encourage, collaborate, to lead.
  • Very often, the entire workflow depends on our writing skills.
  • The practice of good writing can mean the difference between business or no business, action or no action, collaboration or conflict, relationship-building or relationship-busting.

Check out this video in which we look at some of the common mistakes made in business writing today. The one I’m discussing here is ‘Please find enclosed herewith’.

Good Business Writing Is Not Easy

One reason why good writing is not easy is because there are lots of considerations:

  • You have to think about your reader, about style and tone, about the words to use, about sentence construction, plus there’s the issue of grammar and punctuation.
  • Your business writing is closely linked with company identity. You must consider what your company stands for and where it’s going – what’s the “voice” your company wants your clients to hear, and how does your company want to be perceived by the public at large?

These considerations are not simple to determine, but they cannot be ignored. Conversations about these things are crucial to the organisation’s success, not just the individual’s.

Why not get conversations like this going in your organisation? Why not get a team together to see how you can improve the communication and writing skills in your workplace? It’s important to get people on the same page about this, and you have to start somewhere.

If your organisation is serious about success, it’s essential to encourage effective business writing throughout your workplace.

To help you, I’ve put together a checklist of reasons why your writing style may not be working as effectively as it should.

This checklist also contains my top 10 strategies for improving the business writing style throughout your organisation.

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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