Business Writing as a Genre…

Published on 2011-10-29

Business Writing as a Genre
What a wonderfully boring topic… Yet one which is constantly evolving, debated, and argued about. Last post was about email. This is pretty damn new. But, I’m an old fart. I actually remember and was trained using a typewriter, so, what do I know? Well, I know this:
The way you write is the way you present yourself professionally to many, if not the majority of your international contacts.
I live in China, my clients and trainees are all internationally connected thru this internet thingy…
For a lot of my trainees, the main point of contact, with professionalism, brand recognition, and personal connections, are through email.
So, the recipient of your message, without any/many/much other points of contact of impressions, understand who/what/why you are through your email communications. And the more professional it is, the more likely the recipient of your message will choose you as the preferred contact/vendor/supplier/etc.
You might notice that I’m using the //// mark a bunch. That is because, communications depend on too many variables to be totally certain. However, I guarantee that if you improve the professionalism of your writing, you will reap the benefits with much less output.
For example, I recently received an email from a local representative of a famous and reputable (formerly for me) package delivery company. I lost a Galaxy Tab in Seattle during transit to China from the US. Seattle airport found it, I followed through to get it sent back to me here in Shanghai.
The local representative sent me an understated message, few details, misspellings, and put the burden of customer service upon myself as advice to navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth known as ‘Chinese Customs’. I took her advice, and had a bad encounter. I’m still in the midst of recovering my own personal belonging.
If she had a clear message, with a specific ‘Purpose’, ‘Details’ to support the ‘Purpose’ or the ‘Actions’ that I need to take to retrieve my belonging, I’d be a much happier customer. As it is, I have to spend almost more time to get my tablet than it is worth.
I will not be using this vendor in the future. And since it is negative ‘word of mouth’, this meme will spread. So, they lost a lot of potential business.
This is how professional business writing works. Satisfy the requirements, and reap the rewards…
And this is what I train.