Do you want to be confident and less stressed when writing for business? I was introduced to this great little book by it’s author recently and having read and reviewed it elsewhere I thought to also share it here as writing for business can be stressful. With this little book and the BWPP confident business writing is a lot easier and it is less stressful to create the content and meet the deadline. Here is the review I hope you enjoy it and find the book useful.
This may be “just” a little book, but, when it comes to clear and practical advice on business writing it punches way above its 90 pages.
My command of English is good; I got an A for O-level back in the day and have done various bits and pieces of writing for different media ever since (nearly 40 years now). Peter’s book has challenged me to think more about what and how I write and the language and style I choose.
He starts by detailing the challenges facing small business owners, how the challenges affect business writing and the far reaching consequences of not facing up to those challenges. These are a great starting challenge – we often can’t see wood for trees in the middle of the forest when writing. When he refers to a small business we can actually include anyone who writes for a business, inside a business, or the owner.
A fun part of the book is the section detailing how easy it is to make mistakes. You need to see the included examples to understand. Did you know that some errors are not identified by auto-correct functions and spelling checkers on our computers? Have you thought about words that are said similarly but spelt differently with very different meanings? There are many minefield examples we need to know about when writing. Imagine what people say and think about our business if we write about it inaccurately and sloppily? If we cannot write accurately what else are we not paying attention to? What about the quality of our service or goods? Do you want to do business with a company represented by an error-filled email, letter or website? No.
I also found the BWPP in this compendium of business writing information most useful. No, I am not swearing at you – BWPP is the Business Writing Process Plan. In seven steps we have an outline of what we are writing, by whom and for when. It includes checking (editing/proofing) and feedback (monitoring/reporting). We have all no doubt heard that if we can measure it we can manage it and that means meeting deadlines with quality material. Peter has made the BWPP easily accessible for us to down-load from his website – www.ppgproofreading.co.uk. The beauty of the BWPP is it is applicable across everything we need to write, whether its news articles, copy for websites, newsletters, etc. Examples of using the BWPP are included which helps the reader understand how easy and practical it is to use.
The final section of the book is a challenge to think about our “house style” of writing. Here, Peter is referring to layout, font, voice, etc. It includes how we do our bullet points and headings, using underlining and whether or not we write out numbers in full, in words or as numerals, amongst a lot of other style points. We need to plan our house style so we can keep it consistent. Consistency has a comfortable feel to it and enables the reader to keep reading without getting an underlying frustration (which may lead to abandoning the piece).
So, whether you are a sole trader or an employee responsible for business writing as part of your job, Confident Business Writing by Peter Clarke is a useful guide and reference to the practicalities of business writing.