Chapter 2: Media Writing–Conventions, Culture, and Style

8 The role of writing in strategic communication

Writing is a fundamental business skill that can greatly affect the credibility and success of an organization. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (2015) found that 70 percent of employers look for evidence of strong writing skills in recent college graduates.

Styles of writing vary with the medium, the type of message being communicated, and the audience.

Media writing as discussed here differs from academic writing, which most higher education audiences are accustomed to using. Media writing is clear, straightforward, accurate, and appealing to the target audience. It is active and dynamic, and it allows an organization to engage with its key audiences and clearly communicate ideas and goals. It should also influence the target audience’s perceptions and/or behaviors. Word choice, tone, and message packaging are some of the techniques you will need to master in order to be a strong communicator.

As with any skill, you have to consistently practice writing and be open to suggestions in order to improve. Because there is a perceived—if sometimes unjustified—association between intelligence and writing ability, you may misinterpret constructive feedback as criticism. However, one of the best ways to learn whether you’re clearly communicating through your writing is to get a third-party audience to read and react honestly to it.

In this video, Carol Merry, senior vice president with Fahlgren Mortine, discusses the importance of strong writing skills in the workplace and provides practical tips to improve your writing.


Writing in the Workplace with Carol Merry

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