The State of Business Writing Today

By: Mary Anne Donovan

by
Mary Anne Donovan

There is a crisis in the workplace today, and believe it or not, it's about the quality of writing. That's right: poor writing skills are at the core of issues such as low productivity, inferior quality, and poor customer relations.

Think about it. Modes of business communication have changed radically in the last ten years. Previously we conducted most communication verbally, either by telephone or in person -- meetings, visits, etc. But in this digital age we have become communicators by the written word. Business is conducted internationally via email and instant messenger, and often we never even meet the person on the other end of the keyboard. What this means is: we are what we write!!

Consider the following:

* More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth grade level.

* A whopping $225 billion is lost by business each year because of poor reading, writing, and math skills.

* 71 % of surveyed executives reported that good writing is critical to business success, yet just 26 percent offer any kind of writing training.

* 30 % of all business correspondence is initiated to clarify a previous correspondence.

When a business is represented poorly in its written communications - poor grammar, inappropriate tone, misspelling, ineffective format, and so on - then everything else about that business is in question. The logic goes something like this:

"If they don't care enough about their written communications
and correspondence, then how competent is their customer
service and what is the quality of their products?"

In general, the impact of poor writing on a business is difficult to measure, and therefore, we tend to disregard it, and search instead for some elusive solution to our miscellaneous business woes. Cease your search for the elusive Holy Grail, and look instead at the quality of your and your employees' writing. You may be amazed at what you find!.

Bio of the author:

Variety is the spice of life and the source of great fodder. So says writer, scholar, teacher, and business practitioner Mary Anne Donovan. Mary Anne has been teaching in both graduate and undergraduate programs for the past nine years, with a specialty in business, technical and professional communications. In addition, she is the Chief Editor of Writer Online, a professional ezine for writers and lovers of writing. Mary Anne has her master's degree in liberal studies with a concentration in digital virtual literacy and rhetoric from Empire State College.

The blog can be found at www.businesswriting-courses.com

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