Unless you are writing a literary work, which is a form of artistic expression, your purpose in writing is usually to inform or persuade your audience. Often, you want to do both.
In the fund industry, certainly, informing and persuading the intended audience is the aim of almost every piece of writing that is produced. It’s good to remember this when you sit down to write.
“The purpose of writing is to inform and persuade your audience”
If you remind yourself that the purpose of writing is to inform and persuade your audience, you can avoid many common writing mistakes. The first and perhaps most lethal of these is to ignore your audience.
If you want to convince your readers, it’s obvious that you should have some idea who they are. It’s equally obvious that you should think about what interests them and that you should try to avoid confusing them or boring them to death.
“A lot of business writing is not suitable for the intended audience; sometimes, it’s not suitable for any audience”
These points are obvious, but writers often don’t address them, particularly in a business context. A lot of business writing is confusing and boring. Often, it’s not suitable for the intended audience; sometimes, it’s not suitable for any audience.
Perhaps it is encrusted in arcane jargon. Perhaps it is lifeless because all the sentences are structured in the same way. Perhaps it fails to engage the reader because it is too impersonal.
These are all problems that can be fixed. The first step on the way – and the best way to avoid these problems in the first place – is to remember why we write.