Maths, also a formula to clear writing

Before you re-arrange the alphabet, first work out the arithmetic. Writing well – so your intended readers understand clearly what you say and what you mean in your emails, tweets, news releases, articles and business reports – requires a clear and defined process. Just like maths.

How so?

Writing, solving word problems, in other words, is like any form of reasonable argument. Which is itself no different from a balanced mathematical equation.

Both start with factual information that is either provided or available. You precis the information into a summary using any of 26 letters and a variety of symbols (aka punctuation) and there you have it: the basics of sane, sensible writing. And, of course, the piece must conclude with nothing more or less than a conclusion that shows clearly just how reasonable was the original argument.

This doesn’t work for fiction quite as well, of course, but if your business writing is fiction, sometimes also called creative writing, what’s it doing here? Go write a novel or sitcom instead of a project report and see how that works out in the boardroom.

To change the content of your writing from adequate to good needs the writer to get the facts right and present them simply and with brevity. Winston, not only one of our greatest leaders but also a first-class writer, demanded succinct notes and memos from his generals and advisers to save his time and theirs. In 1940, while the RAF (one hundred years old this year) was kicking the Luftwaffe all over the Kent sky, he sent the following note to his staff:

Follow his suggestions – and mine about factual accuracy – and you will craft an equation of beautifully written balance.

Whatever you write using these principles will add value to wherever your words are published: on your website, in company reports, inter-company memos and other communications. They will get you noticed by powers above and below.

And if none of this works for you, find a writing tutor instead.

Write investment makes good returns

Is every human problem caused by poor communication? Mostly, yes.

Poor communication always leads to misunderstanding and misunderstanding, particularly in the workplace, leads to chaos and occasionally conflict. It can also annoy customers and prospects, sometimes to the extent that they go elsewhere. And no-one wants that.

Here at Immediate Network we believe that everything starts with the words, just as every Oscar-winning movie starts with the script. Or before that, an idea, written down to be read before it inspires a well-crafted screenplay.

In every group of people in a division or the whole business, there will be one who intuitively understands the need for clear communication. Sometimes it’s even the boss…

Equally, in every such group, most will be diffident about their writing abilities. Some are  embarrassed that their grasp of grammar and syntax is weak, and that they will look bad in front of their colleagues and seniors.

We believe that good clear writing is a knack, not an innate ability.

It can be taught, and learned, simply. It does not require a great deal of effort though does involve constant practice.

We’re close to launching a learning stream, specifically aimed at working people in the business world. The background vision is that we want to teach people within companies to write clearly for all business purposes.

The series of online teaching modules will demonstrate Best Writing Practice and explain how to write specific pieces that can be used for a variety of purposes.

We shall also offer a follow-up editing service because this is a critical element to ensure success for both students and their employers.

All companies need to have a small core group of employees who can write clear, literate and grammatically correct English to enhance the company’s sales, marketing and internal communication. Our mission is to make this happen.

Use it again and again

Content Marketing Immediate Network style will help grow your brand without breaking the bank

As a small business we know how to make each pound spent on content and communication work hard, and deliver a decent return on investment. We deeply understand that communication is not an end in itself; it’s a means to an end, that end being more sales.

Why use Content Marketing as opposed to, say PR. Or more traditional advertising?

PR only works for news. PR for brand building or other purposes is actually marketing so best get your descriptions right to avoid confusing yourself.

And if you want to define news, that’s simple as well:  News is either something that someone wants to keep out of the news or it’s  something startling that will be of interest to enough of people that it will help sell newspapers, magazines or drive viewers and listeners to your TV or radio station.

Best example ever: Dog bites man; not news. Man bites dog; news.

There is a great deal of rubbish written about content marketing which is, actually, very simple and yet pretty hard to do well.

Content Marketing in action is this: create and then re-purpose your content across all available communication channels.

Start with a strategy, ie define exactly what you want to achieve. Next, work out what will help you to achieve your aim and what will hinder you. Then draw up a tactical plan (ie what you will actually do and how you will do it), get your resources ready and get started.

Just one other thing: as Five Star General Eisenhower said just before D-Day: ‘No plan survives the first shot from the enemy’. In other words, be flexible and adaptable.

And remember, for content marketing to work, you’ll need good content, created to the highest possible standards.

Clear communication = brilliant content

It is refreshing to have the opportunity to write about Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in a positive vein.

The folk who work there do not make the rules, any more than those who work within HM Treasury. The people whom we elect do that – yet another argument against the simple, sneering Russell Brand school of avoiding one’s civic duty to vote.

Many of us like to think that we know how our taxes are spent. Actually most of us don’t – or didn’t until recently.

HMRC has taken to sending out annual statements to all taxpayers to highlight where the money goes. It’s a brilliant piece of communication that deserves to be applauded.

The message completely contradicts popular thinking as espoused by many, er, popular pundits and does so simply, clearly and without any superfluous commentary.

As a piece of clear communication and useful content it sits somewhere close to the top of the pile for its straightforward excellence.

Wouldn’t it be great if only Google, Facebook, Amazon and other Silicon Valley giants were so honest about tax?