Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writing with "Purpose"

Dr. Deanna Sellnow (Director Division of Instructional Communication, University of Kentucky) and I recently facilitated a two day business writing fundamentals workshop for a Lexington area law firm.

Day 1: Established a foundation for writing and focused on the communication process, discussed the rhetorical situation, and dabbled in mechanics.

Day 2: Our material shifted to more applicable/personal instruction for this specific firm as we discussed “Communication Goals”: Building Relationships, Information Sharing, and Persuasion.

I am amazed at how many people (myself included) believe they are “effective”/”good”/”adequate” writers yet struggle with basic fundamentals. We believe that a written message must be flowery and verbose and end up sacrificing clear communication and shared understanding. In our sessions we belabored the 5 C’s of Effective Business WritingClear, Concise, Courteous, Complete, and Correct. At its core effective writing equates to message crafting. We follow certain rules (grammar, punctuation, sentence structure) but ultimately these rules help us achieve greater success.