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The seven big mistakes . . .

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. . . most organisations unknowingly make every time they write to their customers and prospects

In the many years I've spent analysing documents from all kinds of organisations, one thing has hit me more than anything else.

It's that writers make the same mistakes – over and over again! And these mistakes are costing organisations billions every year!

Pop your details in the box on the right and download your free report now to find out what these mistakes are, and how you can easily eliminate them from your organisation's documents.

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Those seven big mistakes . . .

. . . some information to whet your appetite!

Here's a bit more detail about those seven big mistakes . . .

Big mistake number 1: They assume readers care about what they’ve got to say

The key word here is 'assume'. Every document has to pass what I call the 'so what?' test. If you ignore the 'so what?' test there’s a big chance that most readers won’t even start to read your message, or that they will stop reading very quickly. Find out how to make sure your documents pass this all-important test.

Big mistake number 2: They make it up as they go along

You’d be amazed at how many people start to produce a document without any idea what they are going to write. No wonder the ideas they produce are weak, unfocused and don't pass the 'so what?' test. My solution not only helps you create a stronger message that is more relevant to your reader, it makes it much easier to write, too.

Big mistake number 3: They use jargon and complicated language

Most people switch off when they encounter other people's jargon. But – and it’s a big 'but' – we often forget this when we're at work and writing to other people. Writers seem to be only too happy to use their job- or industry-specific jargon, regardless of whether the reader can be expected to understand it. Now if we can't be bothered to read documents full of what we regard as jargon, why should we expect anyone else to?

Big mistake number 4: They force-feed the reader with long sentences

Have you ever got part-way through a message and lost track of what the writer was trying to tell you? Have you ever had to read a sentence more than once because you were struggling to take in all the ideas? It's happened to us all. And very often we give up altogether, because we don't see why we should have to read everything twice (once can be bad enough, after all).

Most writers don't realise this. If you're serving up ideas, it's much better to cut them up into dainty pieces than to force the reader to eat them whole.

Big mistake number 5: They forget to be human

No one likes dealing with faceless bureaucracies. We don't like being treated 'like a number' and we don't like the feeling of being dealt with by some anonymous, unaccountable person. Most organisations have realised that it pays to have warm, friendly staff that treat customers like valued human beings.

Yet all too often writers will address their readers as 'applicants', 'tenants', 'patients', 'claimants', 'borrowers', 'customers' and so on. My report explains how to put that human touch back into your organisation's documents, while still keeping that polished, professional tone.

Big mistake number 6: They kill the actions in their sentences

Thousands of business documents are written every day that use a tedious, long-winded style. Reports are probably the worst culprits, often written in a way that makes it difficult to tell what is happening and who is doing it:

'It is suggested that consideration should be given to the appropriation of suitable resources to enable the progression of the implementation of the …' and so on, and so on.

Have you ever been in a meeting that was supposed to discuss a report and no one in the room seemed to have read it in any detail? Of course you have! We all have. How many thousands of hours are wasted every month by tedious reports alone? And if the above example is meant to be an 'action point', who is supposed to carry it out? (Cue for everyone to decide 'not me!')

My solution helps you make sure that the actions in your writing stand out, and – as a bonus – it helps you avoid big mistake number 5 too!

Big mistake number 7: When they're happy with a document, they think 'that's it!'

There's one final stage in the process and most organisations forget all about it. They wouldn't dream of missing out this step with a 'tangible' product, yet they rarely bother to do it with a document – however important.

Knowing about this step, and carrying it out, will make sure your documents are 'fit for purpose'.

* Bonus *  Big mistake number 8  * Bonus *

I know I said there were seven big mistakes, but big mistake number 8 almost guarantees that organisations will keep making the other seven mistakes over and over again!

Big mistake number 8: They are convinced that they are not making any of the above mistakes!

Yes, this is big mistake number 8. Most organisations have a blind spot about their own communications. You'd be surprised how widespread and deep seated this problem is. So how do you guard against this problem and overcome it? My free report has the answers!

So, send us a few details and download your free report now to find out all about those seven big mistakes, and how you can easily eliminate them from your organisation's documents.

best wishes

Dave Fox
Senior Partner
The Word Centre

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