Effective business writing is important to a company because it helps create efficient communication that leads to increased productivity, faster problem solving, stronger decision-making, and increased profits. It also helps boost the organization’s credibility.
To some professionals, writing is a daunting task. So much so, that they have a fear of penning ink on paper and often miss deadlines or poorly communicating company or marketing information. This ends up wasting company resources such as time and money. The truth is, writing, like any other skill, takes practice to master.
Business writing skills are an important – hard – skill-set for marketer’s to master. As part of the job, a marketing professional is often required to write advertising copy, press releases, sales copy, internal reports, social media postings, blog posts, and a lot more content.
The three-step writing process helps business writers, like marketing professionals, create effective messages in any medium. It helps them communicate their message effectively while meeting their target audiences needs. The three-step process also ensures writers make the best use of their time and their audiences time. As the writer gets more practice with the three-step writing process, it becomes easier to write and writing becomes more automatic.
Below are the steps to the three-step writing process (For a visual representation, see the Three-Step Writing Process chart below.).
Three-Step Writing Process
Three-Step Writing Process Details
Analyze the Situation
Define the reason or purpose for writing and develop an audience profile.
Determine the needs of the audience and gather information required to satisfy those needs.
Select the Right Delivery Vehicle
Determine the best medium (delivery vehicle) for communicating the message.
Organize the Information
Define the main communication idea and select a direct or an indirect approach. Outline the content to be communicated.
Adapt to the Audience
Connect with your audience by being sensitive to their needs and using a “you” attitude. (See explanation of the “you” attitude below.)
Build a strong relationship with the audience by establishing credibility and projecting your company’s brand image. Use a conversational tone, plain English, and an appropriate voice to deliver the message.
Compose the Message
Choose strong words that create effective sentences and coherent paragraphs.
Revise the Message
Evaluate the content and review it for readability. If required, edit the content and rewrite for conciseness and clarity.
Produce the Message
Use effective design elements for a clean and professional layout.
Proofread the Message
Review the communication piece for errors in the layout. Check the spelling and mechanics as well.
Distribute the Message
Deliver the message using the chosen communication vehicle. Make sure that all documents and files relevant to the communication item are successfully distributed.
While the process of writing may seem challenging at first, practicing often and implementing the three-step writing process will help improve writing skills. The more a business professional writes and uses the three-step process, the more automatic their writing becomes.
The “you” attitude is an audience-centered approach to communicating that involves understanding and respecting your audience and making every effort to get your message across in a way that is meaningful to them.
The “you” attitude is in contrast to messages that are in stark contrast to messages that are about “me.” The goal is to learn as much as possible about your audience. Learn things such as their biases, education, age, status, style, as well as personal and professional concerns. Using this informant you are able to satisfy their need through communication.