|Writing is my business, so I’m especially attuned to its impact. Whenever you write something for your business, whether it’s related to sales and marketing, company policy, employee relations, or legal matters, the writing itself, as well as the content, says something about you.
Let's take Web sites as an example. We all see sites that boast about a company’s great products or services. We see words like EXCELLENCE, QUALITY, and RELIABILITY in bold letters. But if the text is badly written or contains obvious mistakes, what does that site really say? Here’s what it says to me: “Listen to what we say, but disregard what we do. We didn’t take the trouble to do this well because we didn't think it mattered, or we thought you wouldn’t notice, or we hoped you wouldn’t care.” Or worse, “We don’t know the difference.” I think lots of readers are just like me: I do notice, I do care, and I can tell the difference. It’s more than just the words. It’s about identity. It affects the way I think about that company.
You know it instinctively – bad writing can cause damage to a business. It tarnishes the company’s image and undermines credibility. It shifts focus away from the message because mistakes draw attention to themselves. It can cause misunderstandings that lead to ill will or disputes. And all these things cost money. In short, bad writing is a liability.
But, on the bright side, well-written, error-free text conveys your message clearly, creates a good impression, keeps your readers' attention longer, allows them to focus on the information, supports your expertise, inspires confidence, and wins customers. Whether you're creating a Web site, marketing materials, or company documents, it’s worth the effort to be sure your writing is the best you can make it. If you’re not a confident writer, there are people out there who can help.
Just remember that good writing is an essential, valuable, time-saving, money-saving element of your company’s success – and well worth the trouble.