by Monica Santi
As a marketing professionals we are charged with representing a company’s brand through the words we use. In partnership with designers, marketers are tasked to tell a story that evokes a desired action from a target audience. Poorly written copy in an otherwise beautifully designed ad can negatively impact the ad’s effectiveness.
The need for good writing goes beyond the marketing department. Writing is an essential job skill. It is one of the primary vehicles through which our work is judged. Regardless of whether you are marketer or not, your ability to write well reflects on you and the company you work for.
So, what makes for good writing? There are many factors. The focus of this article is on the foundation—grammar, punctuation and word usage. Taken alone, good grammar and proper punctuation are not the heart of a story, but they are framework needed to bring clarity and credibility to your story.
What you can do to improve your writing skills:
- Have someone you trust, and who is known as a good writer, review your writing. Before I submit this blog, it will have been reviewed by a colleague of mine. Additionally, Pivot’s blog editor will review prior to posting. He will make sure I don’t embarrass Pivot or myself.
- If your company doesn’t have a word usage guide, ask the marketing department to create one. This guide will outline how commonly used words and style issues will be treated in writing for your company. It ensures consistent communication throughout the company. Examples of information such a word usage guide might contain are: correct formats for phone numbers, addresses, time, website address, email signatures, etc.
- Work with a grammarian, or someone who possesses skills in proper grammar. Ask them to correct your grammar when they hear you misspeak or when they see writing with incorrect grammar.
- Read blogs about commonly misused words and punctuation marks. A recent favorite of mine came from HubSpot’s blog.
- Have a go-to source for advice. I choose the Chicago Manual of Style when I want to dive deep. For quick lookups, I am BFF with the Grammar Girl.
Whether you are a marketer charged with writing copy, or someone who send emails on behalf of the company you work for, be more conscious of what you say—and how you say it. Polish your grammar skills. Make sure your writing reflects well on you and your organization. Good writing does matter.