Sometimes writing has a lot of glitz and glamour to it. Then there are the types of business writing which are needed for effective communication, but don’t bring the same level of fame that a novel might provide. Yet if you can write effectively from a professional standpoint, even if you don’t consider yourself a professional writer, then you can eliminate the instances of miscommunication that typically occur in the modern workplace.
Although there are several sub-genres of business writing, let’s address the four main categories which exist today.
#1. Results-Orientated Business Writing
This type of business writing as the goal of producing a specific result. You’re creating a call-to-action that will inspire people to do something. There must be specific instructions included with this type of writing for the reader to follow so the expected outcome can be achieved. When a boss sends out an email that sets the goals for the weeks and the expectations which need to be followed, that email would fit into this business writing category.
It’s not just internal communication that has a results-orientated format. If your business has a website or a blog, then this type of business writing is also used. The tone of this type of writing is always motivational and be encouraging in nature.
Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t try to solve every problem with this type of writing. Pick one problem that your readers might have and then solve that problem. Be as specific as possible. This will enhance the value proposition being offered because your results will then be more specific as well.
#2. Informational Business Writing
Sometimes business writing doesn’t need to motivate people to accomplish a specific task. There are times when only the facts need to be communicated. If you’ve ever seen an operational manual for a computer, then you’ve seen informational business writing. You would also see informational writing on a FAQ page for a website, a financial disclosure, and in similar documents.
What is unique about this type of writing is that it is very succinct. The facts must be worded in a clear fashion so the information cannot be misinterpreted under normal reading conditions. The writer must also anticipate questions that might arise while reading the facts involved so that the information is clarified for every reader.
#3. Persuasive Business Writing
This type of business writing is used when personal opinions are being offered to others instead of concrete facts. The goal is to convince the reader that what is being presented as the highest possible value proposition. Whenever a proposal is submitted to gain new work, then it is persuasive business writing that is being used. We often see this type of business writing in advertising and marketing efforts, but it might also be used to apply for government grants or to write a letter to a prospect in an effort to sign a long-term deal.
What is unique about this type of writing is that it uses a second-person voice. It’s addressed to the reader through the “you” voice. Sort of like what you’ll find in this piece.
There is one trap to this style of business writing which is important to avoid: the “me” issue. Persuasive business writing needs to be about the reader and not the writer. If you’ve won business writing awards, have a nice house in the suburbs because of it, and know some famous people – that’s great. It also probably has no bearing on the subject matter at hand. Keep the ego out of this type of writing and you’ll find that the results received can be more predictable.
#4. Negative Business Writing
Although we like to think of business communication as a positive experience, not every piece of news or information contains positive information. Negative business writing happens whenever bad news needs to be offered to someone. If a supervisor is writing a termination letter for an employee because of the need for layoffs, then this would qualify as negative communication.
Negative business writing must be empathetic, but it must also have a firm tone to it. There cannot be any room left for questions or uncertainty. The essential information that must be conveyed to the individuals involved in a direct manner so that there is little confusion.
The 4 types of business writing conveyed here, when perfected, can help you to make sure that you’re communicating needed information in the right way. Choose the writing type that is best for every situation and you may just find that the confusion, frustration, and even anger that occurs from miscommunication may begin to fade away.