Posts Tagged: business writing

Oct 09

Is There Still Room For Corporate Communications?

I got commented not to long ago that my writing was to Business style/Corporate  and that kind of stuck with me for a bit. Having recently graduated with a business degree and having been rewarded for it for so long I thought of it as a stronger way of writing and a better way to get my point across. But then social media comes along and the trend of being much more informal and completely  the opposite of  this style begins to start. With this I’ve seen  some criticism of corporate writing  being seen as  the old or caveman  way of doing things and  it not having any practical use.  So my question is, is there still room for corporate writing or do I need to unlearn about 4 years of my educational experience?

Conversational or the ‘new’ way of writing?

So the biggest argument for moving away from the traditional style of writing is that its very cold and unemotional and that its better to write like you’re writing to a friend or like you’re talking to the person beside you. A lot of the time I’ve seen it to be very upbeat and full of personality.

C/ O Alex Barth

Photo from Alex Barth

Some Criticisms I have: I can see it very easily causing miscommunication especially as companies are trying to reach a larger more international audience. Writing isn’t the same as face to face communications you can’t completely express tone and emotion and everyone can have their own interpretation of things.  You can  also easily go overboard as well with  poor language, use of slang  and the appropriateness of subject matter ( ex: will someone be offended by a joke). My personal criticism of moving away from the business style of writing is that it can get too cutesy/expressive and not quickly get down to content .

Corporate or the ‘old’ way of writing:

In my opinion there was a reason that corporate writing became the norm. It standardized things and got right down to the point. When done right there is little ambiguity and the reader can quickly grab the information they need. It also made sure that nothing that was said would improperly anger anyone or put businesses in legal situations which could cost a company a lot of money in the courts.

Photo by  PinkMoose

Photo by PinkMoose

When it can be used poorly: This style of writing has also been known as being cold and very political. When there is pain being felt such as during a crisis event a corporate style press release or letter does not show much sympathy. On the other side of things it can improperly  show a company’s excitement for a new initiative or company win.

So here’s my look at both types of communications  and the benifits/drawbacks of both. I’d like to suggest a hybrid of both styles as they each communicate well in a specific way.  What are your thoughts? Is informal writing in  or is  business communications not going away?