business writing ideas from Word Constructions      



welcome to the Word Constructions business ideas newsletter

Hello {name}! Welcome to the June edition of business writing ideas from Word Constructions!

Can you believe it is almost a new financial year again? Just over four weeks to go and it seems like only a few weeks ago I finished last year's accounts and records! Now is the time to be thinking about it, though, and preparing things to maximise any tax incentives you are entitled to. For example, making personal super contributions or claiming self-employed super deductions, sending out invoices and getting records up-to-date.

I often find this is a good time of year to assess your own learning - usually because I am thinking about maximising my tax return so actively look for the books and seminars that I have noted to get at some stage! As well as keeping up in your own industry, there are many skills to running or managing a business and those areas can be helped by books and training. If you are preparing budgets for the year ahead, I suggest including money for training, too - yourself as well as your staff - as knowledge can bring in new ideas, increased efficiency, new skills, increased morale and greater confidence.

During May I listened to Les McKeown talk about growing your business and discussing his book, Predictable Success: Getting your organisation on the growth track. His book is about knowing the stages of business and then choosing where you want to be. One tip I gained from his talk was to do something everyday to find and/or engage with your profitable market. I admit I haven't kept tabs on doing this everyday as such, but putting more conscious effort into this area is reinspiring me and my business so maybe you can get value from his tip, too.

Short, practical tips are my favourites - they are easy to remember and therefore much more like likely to be implemented. 'Doing something everyday' is a great tip as I can follow that on even the busiest of days by doing something quick and easy, as well as putting in more effort on other days. I can see the difference in traffic, for example, when I regularly put effort into my blog compared to when I post less frequently.

Until next time, use your words wisely,

Tash                          Word Constructions on LinkedIn           Tash & Word Constructions on Facebook           Word Constructions eBooks  

Recent blog posts you may find useful:

When writing is important for business
Repeat what works
business profiles
Meaningful posts people love to read
Blogging when you're not around
Making your sentences effective

P.S. To help you prepare for 30 June, I am offering 5% off all writing and editing services to my newsletter subscribers who purchase one of my eBooks (work to be booked in June). When booking a project with me, simply mention this offer and tell me which eBook you bought and I'll deduct the 5% for you.

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.
~ Voltaire

business communications article by Tash Hughes

Planning a communications calendar
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

As well as writing for clients, I sometimes am involved in planning upcoming communications for clients; that is, we plan a communications calendar so we know what is coming up for the next six or 12 months. For a small business or overwhelmed communications person, this sort of planning can seem like an impossible task or at least a task to be left for 'tomorrow'.

However, some of the reasons to consider establishing a communications calendar are:

  • you can distribute your communications evenly across the year rather than sending out 3 emails in December and nothing at all over winter

  • you can prepare future communications during the quieter times of the year

  • you have time to find appropriate support and materials, meaning less stress and probably less expense too. For example, in January this year I wrote 14 emails for one client and had a designer prepare them nicely so for the rest of the year, it is very easy to send out their monthly emails even in chaotic weeks

  • being prepared for any responses - you can ensure no one is on holidays or hire temporary staff for the week you send out a major campaign or increase production leading up to a promotion

  • having the ability to tailor campaigns better. For example, do separate emails for men and women or different newsletters for younger and older subscribers. Putting together a campaign in a hurry makes it virtually impossible to prepare two versions or separate out relevant demographics for the split so you just end up with a more generic campaign and miss an opportunity

  • you can coordinate multiple approaches such as have your website update with matching banners before you launch an ad or email

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An offline back up is great for accidental deletions, not just for computer failure or fire!

don't forget the basics

Possessive pronouns
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

A pronoun is a word that can be substituted for a noun; the most common pronouns are she, he, we and it.

Possessive means to possess or own something.

So a possessive pronoun is a generic word used in place of a groups of nouns or a noun for a group. So instead of 'this house belongs to John, Mary and I' we write 'the house is ours', and instead of 'the cars of the teachers' we can write 'the cars are theirs'.

The most common possessive pronouns are theirs, ours, mine, its, his, hers, yours and whose; the most common mistake with these words is to add an apostrophe. These words show possession by default so do not need an apostrophe added before the s.

'Her meal arrived on time but ours was slow' and 'the book is hers, not yours' are correct.

Plan your schedule, collaborate with your team, follow your income, and let your clients help themselves

poor examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some real-life examples of writing that need a little help.

This is from the contact page of a website aimed at new mothers (I changed the name to Pacme but the rest is as I read it on their site)...


With the nature of Pacme, being an online virtual health centre, our specialists are situated throughout Australia. Due to this we prompt you to contact us via email so that we can forward your query to the appropriate Pacme specialist.

Issues with this example:

There are quite a number of issues here unfortunately, so I'll put them briefly as points to keep it simple:

  • 'with the nature' implies something goes with it whereas 'due to' means the nature is part of a cause and effect

  • adding the phrase 'being an online virtual health centre' is long and presumably unnecessary if people are trying to contact the site. "Being an online health centre" covers the first 11 words really

  • 'online virtual' if a business is online then by default is it not virtual? You certainly don't expect to visit an online centre

  • 'we prompt' - seriously, who says we prompt you to call us? 'Call us' is much simpler, but if you want the longer version words like invite, welcome, prefer, suggest and urge would work better than prompt

  • 'contact us via email' is a long way of saying 'email us'

  • two sentences starting with a version of 'due to' is boring and unnecessary - if the first sentence is the explanation of the second one, merging them into one sentence would be easier to understand

  • the overall impression is official and (to me anyway) pompous. An approachable health centre would appeal to more people so a friendlier tone and simpler language would be more effective.

 An improved version would be: (without changing the meaning)

As Pacme is an online health centre, our specialists are located across Australia. Therefore, it is easiest to email us so the appropriate Pacme specialist can respond to your query.

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2011, Tash Hughes