Implementation of Reader-Centered Writing - Effective Communication From: Management To: All Staff, Clever Country Resources Date: February 12, 2010 Re: Implementation of reader-centered writing New policy This is a brief follow-up to re-cap what was discussed at our monthly meeting last Tuesday, February 9, 2010. As you all know, Clever Country Resources is adapting its writing policy to comply with our new communication strategy. Staff input The meeting was enormously fruitful: staff input enabled a number of points to be brainstormed, with some very innovative ideas explored. Ultimately, we all agreed (Flower 1985) on a classic standard, which will be itemized below, and defined in fuller form on the next page. Effective communication The new policy - reader-centered writing - will benefit all staff, especially those of us who frequently write newsletters, memos and reports for our clients.
This policy will also enable us all to communicate effectively among ourselves. (Flower 1985) Improving our good record Our reports are already popular with our clients, thanks to the high standard we have achieved through examining our joint use of effective language. We have all strived to reach a level that surpasses our closest competitors in the market, and for this management thanks all staff for showing enthusiasm and a genuine keenness to outshine our rivals. Substantial benefits and bonuses for all Clever Country Resources benefits tremendously from well-written reports to clients, who in turn reward us with their business.
This has meant substantial remuneration and bonuses in the past, which we intend to exceed this financial year. Summary of guidelines Towards this end, the following summarizes the guidelines that we all agreed on Tuesday should be implemented by this company: We shall strive to understand our audience better than ever speak directly to our clients and discover what motivates them make our plans and actions clear, using ‘you’ to good effect (Flower 1985) slant our language to centre around their business keep sentences to the point, and omit any unnecessary complication be light on detail, and clear in format and structure focus on readability, engagement and inclusivity Let’s understand our audience Placing our clients in focus means we need to understand them and their business better.
We have agreed to get to know clients personally and ask them directly about what they feel our reports should include. Let’s speak directly and discover their motivation Our speech as well as our writing needs to be clear, free of jargon and as succinct and to the point as possible.
We have all agreed to eliminate fuzzy or elaborate writing styles. Let’s use ‘you’ when stating plans and actions Our report plans and action statements for clients need to include ‘second person’ statements: that is, we shall use ‘you’ rather than ‘we’. This will spike their interest, persuade them that we are placing ourselves on their side, and show we understand that, after all, it is their interests we are writing about.
Plans need to be client-centric. Let’s slant our language around their business It is very important to use the vocabulary our clients’ business is about. If you are working with a clothing firm, make sure you research and use correct clothing terms. If you are dealing with an automotive firm, you will feel very comfortable if you are conversant with all the names of car parts, and so forth.
You will feel more capable when you know more. Let’s keep sentences to the point We all agreed to revise and edit - twice! - in order to cut out all unnecessary verbiage that clutters up meaning. You will be delighted with the clarity this brings to your writing. A clear sentence is a meaningful sentence. Let’s be light on detail and clear in structure Repetition is boring and takes up space. If you limit details to the most vital, you will delight your client with your intelligent understanding of their business, and they will be delighted with your work.
Use bullet-point structure and use brief subtitled paragraphs to maintain interest. (Flower 1985) Let’s be eloquent through readability and inclusivity We all agreed that eloquence can be achieved through clear language that’s very readable and that includes the reader on all accounts. If you sustain this achievement, you will engage committed clients, and your relationship with them will ensure on-going benefits for all. Your in-put is much appreciated by all of us at Clever Country Resources. Please continue to give us your ideas: they make for much improved, happier, working conditions for all of us. Well done! . .. [Word count: 770 Including citations in parentheses, but excluding list of sources cited] Sources Cited Flower, Linda (1985) Writing Reader-Based Prose (from Problem Solving Strategies for Writing Harper Collins)