Creative Techniques That Make Business Writing Stand Out

By: Melinda Copp

When most writers think about marketing materials, press releases, and how-to writing projects, they assume creativity is a waste of time and energy. Why not give it to them straight-right? But business writing doesn't have to all business. Business writers can borrow several techniques from their creative writing counterparts to make their marketing materials fresh and unique.

1. Allusion

One of the first techniques that any writer should master is called allusion. Simply put the allusion is a great way to describe something by calling attention to something well-known. For example, you can draw an allusion between a slow lumbering business and the white whale in Moby Dick. This is the type of allusion that will draw a parallel in a reader's mind and give them a mental image of what you are trying to say. But you need to remember that the allusion will fail if the reader doesn't make the connection between the two things-so test it on a colleague to make sure your intended meaning is clear.

2. Personification

As the name suggests, personification is a useful tool whereby an author can attach human characteristics to nonhuman things. Although the idea might sound a little lofty, personifications are quite common. Who hasn't ever read about someone being slapped by the high prices or kissed by the sea? The use of personification is an excellent opportunity for you to make clear in your reader's mind an action that is important to your message.

3. Symbolism

If you were awake during high school English, you probably remember symbolism-another important part of any writer's arsenal. Symbolism is often stumbled upon accidentally by writers, especially in the literary world, so experts suggest that you don't give it too much concern-generally incorporating symbols in your work is a byproduct of good writing and not something that most writer's set out to do specifically. But in business writing, the rules are a little more flexible. Look for symbolic ways to communicate your value to your clients and prospects.

4. Sentence and Paragraph Length

Choosing sentence and paragraph lengths for effect is another creative technique. Professionals suggest that you pay as much attention to the structure of your sentences as to the length. Short sentences can emphasize a key point, and longer ones have a more wandering effect. The same advice applies to paragraphs. Readers generally get weary of long paragraphs and short paragraphs when they are used repeatedly and that's one of the reasons that length variation is considered beneficial.

Getting Creative in Your Business Writing

Why should the creative writers get to have all the fun? Using these techniques borrowed from the literary world not only makes writing more interesting, it will make you and your business stand out among the competition.

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