Write for impact

The purpose of all business communication is to impact the attitudes or behaviour of readers.

e.g. Marketing communication is aimed at getting people to buy from you. Policies and procedures are aimed at causing people to act in a particular way.

So, before you write ask ‘Why?”. Why are you writing? What do you want the user to do as a result of reading your work? Be sure you know the impact you want to have before you put pen to paper.

Your purpose will depend on your organisation. In a business your prime purpose is to make a profit. But other things are important too, like keeping workers safe, protecting the environment, etc. In government purpose will be more related to mission – providing good roads, administering taxes fairly or delivering care services.

Communication must be related to an organisation’s purpose – it goes beyond understanding and effectively transmitting ideas. It’s all about influence.

So, the simplest way to evaluate any communication piece is to look at your audience. Are they doing what you wanted them to do? Are they thinking in the way you want them to think? Did you have the impact you intended?

Write down the impact you want to have before you start writing. Test your communication – did it work?