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Writing for Business: helping you write better business English

Business writing skills have never been more in demand.

Almost everyone in their daily work needs to write clear, accurate business English.

Whether this is in the form of emails, letters, reports, minutes, digital copy, marketing materials, technical manuals or other formats.

Even tweets are increasingly a marketing tool for both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) communications.

Yet not everyone is confident that their business writing skills are up to the standard they would like. Many people working in communications departments, HR or marketing teams, regardless of their native language, strive to write refined and polished business copy.

People working in IT or quantitative fields are often less comfortable writing business English than they are dealing with code or numbers. Many see the need to obtain specific training in business writing skills, to help them reach an even better standard of written English.

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Linnets, laughter, learning: #SfEP2017 conference highlights

Last year I was not very organised and managed to arrange a holiday exactly coinciding with #SfEP2016. Never again. This year I got it right. Holiday just before, no real thinking about ‘work’ or the day-to-day anxieties of life, just get on and do it.

And it did not disappoint. It was one of the most useful, enjoyable and professionally run events of my entire working life. I feel I made lifelong professional friends, learned lots, had some assumptions challenged and others reinforced. It was intensive but never grinding, enlightening but familiar, comfortable but new, jokey but serious.

And I got to sing with The Linnets, how rewarding is that?

Here are some of the highlights.

Flesh of my Flesch: Readability Matters

This blog explores the concept of readability.

It looks at some common readability metrics – notably Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid and a couple of others – and wonders why as writing and editing professionals we don’t make more use of them, to promote our skills and measure our own performance in an objective way.

The metrics are now widely available in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools and word processing software – including Microsoft WORD.

There are whole websites devoted to readability, with free tools to check your own content in lots of different ways.

The tools themselves are objective, intuitive and easy to understand. And they function well for relative comparisons – across multiple authors or over time – even if you can argue about their absolute value.

We already use them at Prism-Clarity to assess our own blogs and try to make them more readable. The argument now is to try using them for other purposes, and to get more people tuned in to them.

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Content Strategy: Do I Need Social Media Marketing?

The first blog in this series shared some of our early experiences in the new world of content strategy. Five months after our launch, it’s time to re-assess how content and social media marketing fit into our new company’s marketing strategy.

As a one-man team with little marketing experience, limited social media expertise and no budget, marketing strategy is a challenge.

Especially as we learn, over time, that content strategy isn’t sufficient on its own. Content is not the whole marketing strategy, only part of it. Good content on its own will not do the job. We need to deploy it, smartly, to support other networking and promotional activities.

The big question for my company is still how to convert leads to clients? Difficult for any start-up and this one is no exception.

In this blog we explore this question further and ask whether investing in a professional social media marketing platform is part of the answer for our particular business.