A reader wrote to me today with a problem. As part of the hiring process for a job, he (the job candidate, whom I'll call Jon) was asked to write a letter to a key client group introducing himself and describing his ideas for their product. Although Jon did...
Based on what I have heard in business writing classes over the past couple of days, I am inspired to share tips on how to assign a task in email--and how not to. Listen in on what people told me (with details disguised): I got an email from my...
Today I received an email from a stranger. The entire message said this: When sending a letter to a Judge and his wife I believe the address should read The Honorable John and Mrs. Smith. What is the correct salutation?Thank you. The message included no greeting, no introduction, no...
Julie, a marketing and communications manager from Atlanta, Georgia, asked me about the formatting I used for commands, menus, and other items in my post Make Microsoft Find Passives. Many of us use technical terms in our writing--especially procedure writing--and I'm glad to provide tips. Tip 1: If you write...
In a recent Better Business Writing class, an accounts payable professional was working on several procedures she had brought to class to revise. They included these sentences:Batches should be entered by 10 a.m.The batch can then be given to the coordinator. Ensure that all pays are entered in a...
UPDATED 04 OCTOBER 2021: This week I received a proof for a booklet I am printing. Because the print run is 2000 copies, I wanted to be sure everything was perfect. That is why I double-checked how to render our business phone number in print. Coincidentally, Jennifer from Bozeman, Montana,...
For some lucky employees, now is the time of year when their company rewards them with an annual bonus. If they have met or exceeded their goals for the year, they receive a bonus--sometimes a percentage of their salary and sometimes a fixed amount. Bonuses are not automatic. Often employees...
Update on December 27, 2011: For current new year's greetings, see this post. Akiko from Orange, California, wrote to ask about holiday greeting cards for business contacts. Her message reminded me that it is time to share ideas for communicating during the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Since I wrote...
UPDATED 04 OCTOBER 2021 Do you look for opportunities to thank your customers? If you have U.S. customers, November 23, Thanksgiving Day, is one of those occasions. Because it is a national holiday not allied with a particular group or religion, Thanksgiving is an excellent time to remember customers and...
The other day I received an email from a company representative who was selling a "training management solution." I don't believe I have a problem that matches that solution, but I decided to read the email anyway, since I am interested in effective writing. I was intrigued by the...