This is the time of year where we plan our business strategy, goals, marketing and budgets. But have you thought about planning your business writing?
Communication is a key part of any organisation. We produce web content, blogs newsletters, daily emails, marketing collateral, articles, reports and proposals.
But how much time do you invest in planning what you write?
So often we write as we think. We write for ourselves—not our audience. Frequently I see writing that resembles a stream of consciousness, making it hard to work out the point of the communication.
Planning your writing can save you time and money and make your writing task simpler. Most importantly, it can save you ongoing communication that arises from a lack of clarity.
PAIBOC is a useful acronym that can assist you to plan your content effectively.
Purpose: Why are you writing your piece of communication? Is it to inform, persuade or deliver bad news?
Audience: Who are you writing to? What is their interest in the topic? How do you want them to respond? You must adjust factors of style, information organisation, tone and approach to the reading habits of your audience.
Information: How much information does your audience have, what do they already know? What do they need to know? Choose the information for the message and the medium.
Benefit: The first rule of plain English is to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Your reader wants to know:
- Who sent this?
- What’s in it for me?
- What do they want me to know?
- Do I have to read the whole thing?
Objections: Think about any objections you might expect your readers to have. What negative elements of your message must you de-emphasise or overcome? If you can address these in your text, ongoing correspondence will be minimalised.
Context: How will the context affect your reader’s response?
Planning may seem time-consuming, but if you take the time at the beginning to think about PAIBOC, your writing will be a simpler process. Your message will be clear, concise and audience focused.
Most people communicate using words that meaning to them. Effective communicators use words that have meaning to others.
f you would like help with your business writing, call Sue on 027 314 6633 or email her for an obligation-free chat.