WHAT IS WRITING AND COMMUNICATION METHODS IN 2021?
Writing is one of the means of verbal communication. It involves putting an idea to paper with the intention of sharing its meaning with a reader. A more formal definition of writing is however given by Barnett (1992:16) as “written discourse intended for communication and to the diverse activities involved in putting thoughts on paper.”
According to Coulmas (2003), at least six meanings of ‘writing’ can be distinguished:
1. a system of recording language by means of visible or tactile marks;
2. the activity of putting such a system to use;
3. the result of such activity, a text;
4. the particular form of such a result, a script style such as block letter writing;
5. artistic composition;
6. a professional occupation.
All six meanings, as postulated by Coulmas, taken together portray writing as a very important multi-faceted process. However our focus, for the purpose of our discourse as business communicators is on the goal of writing- that is to communicate by putting thoughts on paper.
STAGES OF WRITING
Writing is an activity which takes time and effort to complete. For it to successfully convey a message, the writer has to follow some processes. Generally speaking, the stages/ processes come under three broad headings: pre-writing, writing and post writing.
A. Pre-Writing Stage
The pre-writing stage is otherwise referred to as the planning stage. It refers to everything you
need to do before you commence writing proper. During this stage, the writer will need to:
• Specify his topic, message or content.
• Define his objective.
• Work on developing an audience profile i.e. by gathering enough information about what
they already know about the topic, what they don’t know, and their enthusiasm for the
topic. In addition, their bio data needs to be gathered.
• Select the best medium (oral, written, visual or electronic) for delivering your message.
• Choose your approach i.e. whether direct or indirect.
• Organize the Information by defining your scope and sketching an outline.
B. Writing Stage
The writing stage is the point at which you actually commit words to paper. It is also known as the drafting stage. During the writing stage, you need to:
• Keep your audience in mind. This requires that you be
➢ Sensitive to audience needs.
➢ Polite, positive and unbiased in language articulation.
➢ Able to establish rapport with your audience.
The completion stage refers to whatever you have to do to hone your writing; given its objective.
At this stage you will need to:
• Revise the message for content, logical order, readability, conciseness and clarity.
• Use effective design elements and suitable layout for a clean, professional appearance.
• Edit the message in respect of spellings, punctuation, grammar and other mechanics.
• Deliver your message using the chosen medium
OTHER ASPECTS OF THE WRITING PROCESS
As a writer whose goal is to communicate, you should take note of the following:
• Use plain or simple language.
• Be brief but very clear in your articulation.
• Cite numbers and dates carefully.
• Avoid slang, clichés and idioms.
• Use business jargon carefully.
• Be careful with buzzwords.
• Use transitional elements(aka cohesive devices or linking words) to help the reader follow your train of thought.
• Control your style and tone. Tone should be neither overly formal nor too conversational.
• Know when to use active or passive voice. Use active when the subject performed an
action and passive where he received the action.
• Be careful in the use of humour.
• Be careful with intimacy.
• Address correspondence properly.
Letters are a frequently used communication medium both in business and social interactions.
For instance, in business it is common to write letters of applications, acceptances, declinations, acknowledgements, confirmations, complaints, orders, requests and many more. While social
dealings may require letters of condolences, congratulations, apologies, invitations and the like.
Therefore mastering the skill of proper letter writing should be a goal of any student of
Letters are a written form of communication. Hence, letter writing follows the three stages of
writing earlier postulated. That is to say, firstly, the content or message of the letter has to be
planned taking into cognizance the recipient. Secondly, it is necessary to prepare a first draft of The message. Lastly, after the necessary revisions have been made, the letter is delivered to its recipient.
CORPORATE AND PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS
Corporate communication is an information sharing function which has to do with corporate bodies. It is part of the management function and covers the development and dissemination of information by a corporate body for both internal and external purposes. The main objective of corporate communication is to create a favorable identity, image, and reputation about the organization among the various stakeholders of the company. It therefore covers a broad array of information in relation to such diverse areas as employee communication and benefit packages, company strategy, media relations, corporate social responsibility, crisis management,
marketing, investor relations, government related communications and much more.
Corporate identity refers to a company’s defining features or attributes. This includes its vision, values, people, products, and services. It should however be borne in mind that while identity is an organization-specific projection, often, corporate bodies’ identities cannot be totally based on what the company aims to project. This is because corporate identities sometimes get shaped by people associating them with one or more of their renowned brands, designs or services; whether that was the intent or not. Image is the way the corporation is seen through the eyes of its various stakeholders. Because it is a stakeholder conception, it is possible for a corporate body to have different images. Keepingthis in mind, corporate communication departments need to therefore devise means of understanding and monitoring each stakeholder’s needs and attitudes. This is not to say that by doing so the corporation can please everyone, but that by monitoring what stakeholders are
thinking about, it can make a conscious effort not to lean towards favoring one stakeholder image at the expense of others.
Reputation, in respect of corporate bodies, refers to the aggregate or collective measurement by stakeholders, of the ability of the corporation to meet their varied expectations. Corporate reputation is an earned concept, therefore it is difficult to manage. However, company products or services, values, processes and employees are key drivers in making or marring an organization’s reputation. These can be managed to earn a favorable reputation.
Public communication refers to any communication which aims to inform, persuade or entertain
a particular group of people or the general public. Its forms range from lectures, campaigns, addresses, newspaper editorials, billboard advertisements, television, internet, and social mediato any other communication directed at a specific or general public. As a public communicator, it is important to ensure that the message being communicated is being delivered to the correct “public”.
COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATION METHODS
Commercial communication refers to any message whose intent is to (i) give information about
a product, investment or service, and (ii) solicit for or promote commercial transaction in relation
to a product, investment or service. Generally speaking, commercials may therefore either be
transactionals or promotionals.
Traditionally, commercial communication was achieved via any of the several print or broadcast media that existed. Various forms of advertising, sponsorship, teleshopping, product placement and the like are all means of commercial communication. These days however commercial messages (commercials) also include voice messages, SMS, email, web portals and other internet related mediums.