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Business Writing Portfolio: Good Business Writing Techniques

1. Business Writing Portfolio

Suppose you are part of the following scenario:

o You are a public relations manager who must present information regarding changes in retail store operations to three sets of stakeholders of a retail clothing chain. The stakeholders are store managers, employees, retail customers, and the public. You must explain adjustments that allow employees to come to work on fewer days a week in an effort to combat rising gas prices and save money on store operations.

o Stores will close on Sundays. On Monday through Saturday, stores will open an hour later and close an hour earlier. Full-time employees, including managers, will work four 10-hour days a week. Part-time employees will consolidate their hours in 1-, 2-, or 3-day workweeks, depending on how many hours they are scheduled to work. No stores are closing, but no new stores are opening.

o While constructing your messages, determine the characteristics of your audience and consider the appropriate communication type and style for each audience.

Part I: Business Writing Steps. Outline the steps you must take in drafting the three business communications. This document can take the form of a list, a flowchart, or a Web diagram.

Part II: Portfolio. Write three messages by using the message format listed for each audience. Explain the changes in the retail store operations. The three messages contain potentially negative information; address the information presented in the scenario so your audience might perceive it in a positive way.

Audiences Message Formats

Store managers A business letter
Store employees A business memo
Retail customers and the public An e-mail message

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Part 1 - Business Writing Steps

Business writing is all about clear and effective communication. Therefore, in order to accomplish just that, one must do the following:

Know your purpose. What are you trying to say? What message would you like to convey? What would you like this document to accomplish? What is your exact goal for writing this document? If you stay focused on your purpose, the document is sure to be effective.

Consider your audience. Who is your audience? Who is going to read this document? Knowing your audience will assist you in writing in a style that will fit that audience so that they will understand the message you are trying to convey. Important factors to consider are: the audience's education level and vocabulary. For example, IT will expect technical terms to be a part of the document; physicians will expect medical terms, the public will expect plain language, etc...

Organize your thoughts. Create a rough draft outline of what messages or information you will be conveying to your audience and organize this based on priority. The outline will serve as a guideline for keeping you focused and to help you incorporate important details.

Ensure Clarity. Read the document to yourself perhaps out loud, to ensure that the message you are trying to convey is clear. Is everything written in a clear and concise manner? Are there any unnecessary or ambiguous?

Get feedback. Outside individuals ...

Solution Summary

Business writing requires good writing techniques and presentation. When trying to convey a message, it is important that the writing techniques used in the letter matches the audience it is intended for (i.e. in its format and in its content), in order to make a good impact. For example, store managers get a business letter, store employees get a business memo, and retail customers and the public get an email. Please read further to view samples and discussions of each different type of letter.