The world of business writing can seem vast. Each office seems to have variations of documents, each with its personalized templates and industry focus. Varying scenarios require varying forms of business writing. However, the innumerable documents can be distilled into four main categories.
Each category has its overall goal. Based on the objective, each of the many business documents falls within these four broad segments.
This article will break down the broad field of business writing into four categories. Understanding these conceptual divisions will help guide your decisions about your document choice and goal.
Instructional Business Writing
Instructional business writing provides the reader with the information needed to complete a task. The task may need to be accomplished immediately or it may be for future reference. This type of document must break down a process into steps that are understandable to the reader. The written record must account for the reader’s knowledge of the area, the scope of the task while integrating variations or potential problems.
User Manual: a guide focused on allowing the customer to use a product. Effective user manuals are crucial to a good user experience and a happy customer. User manuals are often considered part of technical writing, which is closely related to business writing.
Specifications: a technical document that provides an outline of a product or process that allows it to be constructed or reconstructed by an unfamiliar but knowledgeable user, enabling effective distribution.
Memo: a short notification of new information shared within a large group in an organization. The memo may include direct instruction or be a reference on how to complete future tasks.
Informational Business Writing
Not all business writing requires action. A large volume of writing is created for reference or record. This category can include some of the less glamorous but still essential documents.
Recording business information accurately and consistently is important for marking progress, predicting future work, as well as complying with legal and contractual obligations.
Report: perhaps the bulk of informational writing is report writing. Organizations rely on reports to act, to communicate business and technical information, to capture work completed, to record incidents, to finalize projects and recommendations, and to act as an archive. A well-written report allows the reader to easily grasp the content and, if applicable, make informed decisions.
Financials: documents that outline the financial state of a company. These statements provide a fiscal snapshot of a company over a defined period.
Minutes: a summary of the proceedings of a meeting. A record of discussions, decisions, and assignments for attendees and others.
Persuasive Business Writing
When people think of business writing, they often think of the persuasive writing category. These documents are generally associated with sales. The persuasive writing may be direct, with a focus on a specific item, or indirect, with a focus on developing the client relationship.
The goal is two-fold: to convey information and to convince the reader that the presented information offers the best value. The text is written to impress the reader and sway their decision.
Proposals: these documents outline an offer of a product or service to a specific potential client. The proposal generally presents a project overview, benefits, timeline, costs, and competency.
Sales Email: an email is written to a large number of people to pitch a product or service.
Press Release: a text written for journalists and media presenting new information. The text aims to persuade the reader to share the content through their own channels
Transactional Business Writing
Everyday communication falls under transactional business writing. The majority of this writing is by email, but also includes official letters, forms, and invoices. An easy way to quickly improve your transactional business writing is to take an online course.
These documents are used to progress general operations. They are also used to convey good and bad news, often associated with human resource processes.
Emails: documents used to quickly communicate information between staff or clients in business activities. Read our guide on how to write a business email here.
Dismissal notice: this letter provides the official context and procedural details associated with employment termination.
While the document goal varies, the core of business writing does not. Here are some helpful style reminders.
Effective professional writing is written with a clearly defined audience and purpose in mind. This is results-oriented writing. The text helps the reader do or know something.
The writing style should be written to be concise, relevant, and understandable. Excessive wording, jargon, or extraneous information have no place in any type of business writing. Each element of the document supports the communication of the purpose to the reader.
Of course, good writing is free of grammar and spelling errors and inaccurate information, users can use Grammarly for that in an online environment, also there are also a lot of other tools to make it perfect, paraphrasing tool can do the extra job. Each business document falls into one of these four categories. By determining the category, you will better understand your document’s goal. This insight will improve your writing.
You’ve written a press release and you think it’s great – but is it really ready to send out? Make sure you’ve followed all the guidelines of AP style before you hit send!
What is a press release?
A press release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value.
Why use AP style?
If you’re writing a press release, it’s important to use AP format. Why? Because using AP style shows that you’re professional and that you know what you’re doing. Plus, using AP style makes it easier for reporters to understand your press release and makes it more likely that they’ll use it in their stories.
The format of a press release
A press release is a document typically used to announce something newsworthy. A press release should be concise, clear, and free of grammar and punctuation errors.
Here is the basic format of a press release:
1. Headline: Write a catchy headline that accurately reflects the content of your press release.
2. Subhead: Include a subheadline underneath your headline. This is optional, but can be used to provide additional information about your story.
3. Dateline: The dateline should include the city and state in which the story took place, as well as the date on which it occurred.
4. Body: The body of your press release should be divided into paragraphs, with each paragraph containing one or two sentences. Be sure to include all pertinent information about your story, but avoid using jargon or overly technical language.
5. Boilerplate: The boilerplate is a short paragraph (usually just one or two sentences) that provides basic information about your organization or company. This should be placed at the end of your press release.
6. Contact Information: Include your name, title, phone number, and email address at the end of the press release so
Tips for writing a press release
When you are writing a press release, it is important to keep in mind the following tips:
- Write in a clear and concise manner
- Be sure to use proper grammar and punctuation
- Stick to the facts and avoid embellishment
- Make sure your quotes are attributed properly
- Use an active voice
- Keep your paragraphs short and to the point
- And most importantly, follow AP style!
How to distribute your press release?
When you have written your press release, it is important to get it out to as many people as possible. The most effective way to do this is to distribute it through a distribution service.
There are many different distribution services available, but we recommend using one that specializes in distributing press releases to the media. This ensures that your press release will be sent to the right people and will have the best chance of being picked up by the media.
Once you have found a distribution service that you are happy with, simply send them your press release and they will take care of the rest.
Now that you know how to write a press release in AP style, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Write a press release for your business or upcoming event and make sure to use proper grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Once you’re done, send your press release out to media outlets and see if you can get some coverage for your business or event. Good luck!