The way people communicate through texting and social media is creeping into our business communications. Gone are the days of written letters and extended essays. Instead, society is trending towards truncated words, abbreviations, soundbites and images to communicate. There is certainly a time and a place for embracing this modern communication phenomena. However, just because our personal lives are dominated by quick, sporadic messages does not mean that this type of writing should extend to our professional communications.
There can and should be separation between your communication style in the workplace and the way you communicate with family and friends. So, whether you have jumped on the abbreviation bandwagon or are still sitting at the station, below are the top reasons why business writing is still relevant in the age of abbreviations.
Boost Your Brand
One of the most effective ways to shape your business image is through the written word. Whether you are writing content for your business’ website, drafting documents for a client or emailing a business associate, the way you communicate is part of your brand and, by extension, your company’s brand. A well-written document can convince website readers to purchase your product, encourage business associates to refer work to you or prompt clients to retain your services in the future. Don’t underestimate the importance of making a professional impression.
Gain Respect and Credibility
When you read a series of abbreviations, are you reading to assimilate the information or are you just skimming the content? As readers, the style of writing often informs the amount of attention we give to the topic. If you write a casual, abbreviation-filled piece, your readers will meet you at your level and scan through the content. On the other hand, an engaging, professional writing style will command readers’ attention, boost your credibility and earn you the respect and trust of clients, peers and employees. Abbreviations are fun, but they generally do not convey an air of trustworthiness and experience.
Increase Your Network
Your business may be great at what it does, but if your writing consists of slang and abbreviations, clients and business associates may not be interested in what you have to say. Professionals in every industry want to be connected to others who share their beliefs and values. Maintaining a professional style and tone increases your chances of creating positive relationships with others in your field and expanding your network. When you expand your network, you increase your market reach and create more opportunities for your business.
Professional Business Communications Remain Important
As young people grow up with technology that embraces slang, a social shift in language is permeating our culture. It is tempting to fall into the trap of colloquial writing. But, for the sake of your career and your business, it is a far better choice to maintain a professional writing style.
Sally Kane is a lawyer and professional writer who is passionate about helping small businesses with their content and marketing issues. Over the past 14 years, she has published dozens of articles in online and print publications on legal and business topics.
She is the content director for PaperStreet, a digital marketing agency that serves law firms and small businesses around the globe.
Follow her on Twitter : @sallyannekane and @paperstreet.com.