We write for organisations and we run workshops and creative days.
Writing for business is different from the other kinds of writing. People don’t usually choose to read our words for their own amusement. (Although when the circumstances are right, it can happen.) When we write for businesses, charities, NGOs or individuals we want three things:
1 To get our readers to start at the beginning.
2 To interest them enough to keep reading.
3 To encourage them to do something: like us, believe us, buy something, pick up the phone, donate to our cause, fill in our form and send it back to us. It can be any number of things, but we need to make it happen.
Different industries use their own dialects – buzzwords which mean something only to the people who work in that area – and writers are the same. We have tone of voice and storytelling. Tone of voice is all about making the language you use match your organisation’s style, your brand identity in words. Storytelling isn’t complicated; it’s telling the truth about how you came to be where you are. We do both. We also do our best to strip away all the dialect that stops your customers understanding what you do.
Here’s a story about that. I was on the train to Nottingham waiting to leave St. Pancras. Or that’s where I thought I was. First we had the announcement about adverse weather conditions – a pompous way of saying “snow” – then we got a second announcement to tell us that we all had to “detrain” and cross the platform to a different train as ours had an incorrect set. When I asked the guard to explain what he meant, he said, “We’ve got the wrong set and they forgot to tell us.”
“What do you mean by “set”?” I asked him.
“Yes, it’s the wrong set,” he said.
“But passengers don’t know what a set is because we don’t work for the railway company.”
“Well they got the set wrong this morning. That’s why you had to change trains,” he replied. I gave up.
At Little Max we don’t want people to be impressed by our copywriting skills, or transfixed by our imaginative use of language. We just want them to understand it and want to keep reading to the end. In this case, if you’ve got this far, we’d be more than delighted if you’d click on the tab that says “Clients” to read about some of the work we’ve done.
The long and the short of it is that we’ll write clearly in a style that suits you.