For this website, I will be using Writing that Works: Communicating Effectively on the Job, 12th Edition by Walter E. Oliu, Charles T. Brusaw and Gerald J Alred. Business Writing is an intersectional discipline between Rhetoric and Composition with Business. As somebody who had taken a few Composition classes already, I was not as ready for the Business side of things. To summarize in as generally specific phrasing as possible, Business Writing is not a creative venture. Rather, it’s communicating in the plainest of language, with specifics to solutions and analysis, as well as consideration for the proper decorum between communicating between other individuals.
Kairos is an important concept in Business Writing – which literally means “a propitious moment for decision or action.” People got mad recently about the Pepsi ad, but when one looks more closely, it is demonstrative of the typical PR strategy to analyze about a majority of people in the present political conditions and target to those people – a typical business strategy. PR is about saving face, which is what plenty of the Apple supervisors do when they “visit” factories in China to report that the working conditions are highly favorable when they are not, and keep the public out of interest in Global Neoliberalism by advertising Apple as a hip, in-with millennials company. In similarity with big name-companies, an effective strategy in marketing oneself is to highlight one’s strengths, to use humor, to have work experience and to not sell oneself short. Literally with time, one either comes to believe oneself to be all that one says he/she is or becomes completely frustrated and disillusioned with Capitalism.
Other simple but important concepts must be taken into consideration as well
- Pathos: Appeal to emotion. Finding a way to gain one’s sympathies. If you can make someone believe that you/your company/your product is making the world a better place, you will find it easier to market.
- Logos: Making your argument as logically-sounding as possible. When not getting the results you want, literally changing the results and/or wording to make it sound correct. Depends on the situation and context though, such as losing your job if lying to your employer.
- Ethos: Having the credibility. Have the degree? Have the position? Worked at a certain organization? The more you work, and the more leadership roles you take on, the more speaking power you have.
- Multimodality: Understanding and using multiple ways of communication through oneself and others. It’s not enough anymore to just write a paper. You have Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and all sorts of mediums in order to communicate. You want to use as many resources as possible and/or figure out the best way to communicate effectively. If another person’s piece fits in with yours, to include it will make you sound more reasonable. Majority opinion wins.
- Design principles: Not to use annoying design. To find colors that compliment one another. To not use bold backgrounds when one cannot read the text. To use white space – which makes the reader want to read what you have to say. To make the format fit into the piece so that it is not so distracting that nobody wants to read it.
Literally practicing forms of writing, however boring and headache-inducing, will teach one to get better at writing overtime. Writing is essentially a skill that can be taught and is important in a business/career setting. Some projects/assignments that can help in improving your business writing are
- Analyzing LinkedIn profiles – pathos, ethos and logos. What would make the employer attracted to this potential employee? What can you learn from their self-marketing?
- Understanding the multiple pros/cons to various social media platforms and how to use them all effectively to brand yourself/your product/your company.
- Writing about and understanding issues related to your profession. If you can find a website full of experts, such as Quora, pay attention to how they write about issues in their line of profession. Start to practice writing answers to similar questions, sounding like you know what you are talking about.
- Internal/external memos, proposals for intervention, “fake” resumes, reading letters of application for jobs, making a business-launching plan and imagining future clients are all other ways to imagine and prepare for writing on the job.