08-Dec-2012
Straight from Communication World, Steve Crescenzo brings us the seven faux-pas when writing for organizations. For your reading pleasure here is a review of Steve’s Seven Deadly Writing Sins.

Sin 1: Burying the interesting stuff – Corporate messaging, endless titles and protocol naming of every senior manager under the sun is pretty standard as an opening to today’s news releases. This first sin shows how this has turned into a hunt for the interesting from readers.
Sin 2: Writing too much unnecessarily – Similarly to Sin 1, corporate messaging lengthens deliverables and our readers may soon lose interest. Keep in mind that if no one reads it, it was useless in the first place.
Sin 3: Unconversational quotes – Almost all corporate quotes don’t sound like what a human would say. That’s because they weren’t actually said and readers can smell it a mile away.
Sin 4: Writing for the wrong audience – If you’re not writing for your reader, you may be writing for nothing.
Sin 5: Packaging content poorly – Crescenzo says that today’s reader has ADD so you better make sure the look of your deliverable leads to actual reading and retaining of messages.
Sin 6: Loading stories with jargon – When internal language slips into deliverables it hurts your message. Leave the jargon out.
Sin 7: Writing content with no specificity – Navigating corporate jargon, obligatory boilerplate text and mandated key words leaves sentences saying very little. As suggested in The Elements of Style, “Prefer the specific to the general, the definite to the vague, the concrete to the abstract.”

Conversational quotes seem especially difficult if we take a look at daily releases in Saskatchewan. Spread the word and we’ll have our CEOs in news releases sound like humans in no time.

To view Steve’s full articles check the links below:
• Link to CW article for sins 1-3: http://discovery.iabc.com/view.php?cid=3279
• Link to CW article for sins 4 and 5: http://discovery.iabc.com/view.php?cid=3342
• Link to CW article for sin 6: http://discovery.iabc.com/view.php?cid=3371
• Link to CW article for sin 7: http://www.iabc.com/cw/private/pdf/2012/11-12/CWNovDec2012_CreativeComm.pdf