PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS WRITING

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              Effective communication is need of every organization. Business writing should follow some principle. These principles bring with ‘C’. They are seven in number. So they are called seven C’s. The people today are much more aware of the importance of good communication they used to be. Despite the modern inventions of quick ways of transmitting human sound, written communication has its own importance. To compose effective message, we must apply certain communication principles.
·       Clarity
Clarity means communication the exact message on the first reading. Clarity makes the reader’s job easy. A clear message on the first reading makes the reader’s job easy. A clear message is easy to understand. Moreover, it saves time, money and effort. Aristotle said: “a good style is first of all, clear.” Short and easy words should be chose for bringing clarity:
Use                  instead of  
Start                commence
End                  terminate
Fire                  conflagration 
Daily                per diem
Clarity comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Use short, easy and familiar words.
2.      Keep pronoun references clear.
3.      Avoid needless jargon.
4.      Avoid chichés (old phrases).
5.      Avoid using words that have more than one meaning.
·       Conciseness
Conciseness is saying in the fewest possible words without sacrificing the other “C”
qualities.  A concise message save time, money and effort of both parties.
Shakespeare said: “brevity is the soul of wit.”
Southey said:  if you want to me sharp be brief.”
We should be like a bee that takes out nectar from each flower.
Use                  instead of
About               with regard to
If                      in the event that
Experience      past experience
Conciseness comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Include only relevant material.
2.      Make negative positive.
3.      Avoid needless repetition.
4.      Delete needless prefaces.
5.      Eliminate wordy expressions.
·       Completeness
Our communication is complete when it contains all information the reader needs. Completeness offers many benefits. Complete message bring the desired result without the expenses of added messages. They can also build goodwill.
            Communication comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Provide all necessary information.
2.      Answer all question asked.
3.      Give something extra, when desirable.
4.      Check five W’s: What, when, Where, Who, why.
·       Consideration
Consideration means preparing a message with the receiver in mind. Try to put yourself in his place. The sender is aware of the receiver’s desires, problems, circumstances, emotions, and reactions. This is also called “you-attitude.
Consideration comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Focus on “you” instead of “I” and “we”.
2.      Show benefit to the reader.
3.      Emphasize positive, pleasant facts.
·       Correctness
Correctness is the greatest quality of a message. Everything in the letter should be correct. If a letter has other “C” qualities, but it is not correct, it is useless. The appearance, information, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization should be correct.
Correctness comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Use the right level of language.
2.      Check the accuracy of facts, figures, and words.
·       Courtesy
Where courtesy reigns, everyone gains. Courtesy costs nothing but it brings much. Courtesy shows love and respect for the reader. Courtesy makes life pleasant. A letter written in a courteous way seems to be smiling. “please” and “thank you”  are courteous words. There must be sincerity behind courtesy.
Courtesy comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Be honestly tactful, thoughtful, and appreciative.
2.      Use expressions that show respect.
3.      Choose nonsexist language.
·       Concreteness
George M. Cohan said: “Don’t tell them-SHOW them!” Information writing shows as well as tells. Correctness means choosing words that shows definitely what you mean. Concrete and specific information is not only more informative, but also mire convincing. We have to make the reader “see” himself.
            Concreteness comes in a message through these ways:
1.      Choose vivid. Image-building words.
2.      Provide solid numbers and statistics.
3.      Put action in your verbs.
4.      Use words that appeal to five senses.
(Touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste)

COMPONENTS OF COMMUNICATION PROCESS

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Communication is a process of exchange verbal and nonverbal message. Communication is a dynamic process. It is a chain of events that has eight steps our ideas cannot be communicated if any step is skipped. The components of communication are as follow:
1.        CONTENT
2.       SENDER
3.       ENCODER
4.       MESSAGE
5.       CHANNNEL
6.       RECEIVER
7.       FEED BACK
1.    CONTENT
Content is the background form where a message is initiated. There is a certain means behind a message. A message does not take place automatically. It has to be made happen the content effects the message in a strong way content may include temperament, relation, situation, etc. Sometime in oral communication noise become a hurdle.
2.    SENDER
Sender is the person who initiates the message. The sender may be a writer or speaker. The sender chooses time, language and tone of the message. The sender in influenced by many factors. It is very necessary that there is someone on the other end of communication. He encodes the message so he is also called encoder.
3.    ENCODEING
Encoding is a process in which ideas are put into the message. Then the message may take the form of a written word, a spoken word, gesture. The process is carried out by the sender. Therefore, the sender is also termed as encodes. Sometime, encoding may be difficult when the message is of complex nature.
4.    MESSAGE
Message is a focal point of the communication process. The message moves between persons as well as organization. It carries some news for the receivers. The message may be long or short, simple or complex, timed, organized, shaped and structured. Pre-writing or Pre-speaking give bright to a good message.
5.    CHANNEL
Channel is medium through which the sender conveys the message to the receiver. The channel may be written, oral, or gesture. The choice of channel is a great value. The channel should be chosen after keeping certain points in view. These points include cost, urgency, confidentiality, time of day, etc. the channel should facilitate the job of the receiver. Sometime, the success of message depends heavily upon the channel.
6.    RECEIVER
Receiver is the person to whom the message is send. The receiver may be a reader or listener. The receiver gets the message, understands, interprets and tries to grasp the true meaning of the message he is known as decoder. The receiver is of great value in the communication process, he should always be visualized.

7.    DECODING
Decoding is a process of understanding the message. After receiving the message, the receiver assigns meanings to symbols of the message. Then he is in a position to give its reply. Decoding sometime becomes difficult. It may be when the language is different or gesture is unclear. Decoding is purely in the hand of receiver. He should be knowledgeable, considerate and unbiased.
8.    FEEDBACK
Feedback is the final steps of communication process. It is response of the receiver of the message. Feedback determines the fate of message. Feedback may be positive or silence, urgent or delayed. Feedback is necessary because without it, we cannot know about the decision of the receiver. With the Feedback the cycle of communication.

LEVLES OF COMMUNICATION

An organization has three levels of communication.
  1.  Upward communication
  2. Downward communication
  3. Horizontal communication
 Upward communication
Upward communication travels from lower to higher ranks. Executives must learn what is going on in the organization. Since they cannot be everywhere at one time, They have to depend upon lower level employees for reports and suggestions. 
Downward communication
In most organization decisions are made at the top and than flow down to the people who will carry then out. Employees need clear job directions when they receive proper communication from the management, they can be more efficient.
Horizontal communication
Horizontal flows from one department to the other. It also occurs between the peoples of  same rank. It helps employees to co-ordinate tasks. It is especially useful for solving problems. Such co-ordinates  efforts lead to the success of the organization.

LISTENING

INTRODUCTION
 Listening is an important communication skill. Most of our time is spent in listening. Businesspeople spend nearly 50% of their time on listening. Listening is a vital element of communication of cycle. No oral communication is complete without listening.
 DEFINITION
“Listening is a complex and selective process of receiving, focusing, deciphering, accepting and storing what we here. Listening does not occur without these five interrelated, yet distinct, process.” –Dumont and Lannon
Image
 LISTENING PROGRAMS (OR) FAULTS IN LISTENING
 People listen at only 25% efficiency. Why is it so? Following are some reasons:
  1. 1.                   SELFISH BEHAVIOUR
 The biggest problem in listening is that most of the time we think about ourselves. We desire to tell our ideas, feelings, opinion, achievements, etc. to other. And we desire to do so at once-without even waiting for the other person to stop. In such a situation every one speaks and no one listens.
  1. 2.                   PREJUDICE
 Prejudice means having opposed feelings against others. People often see who in speaking. They ignore what in being said. As a result, they lose interest in the speaker words. They reject the message only because they do not like the speaker.
  1. 3.                   DISTRACTIONS
 Distractions block the way of listening. Distractions may be external or internal. External distraction includes noise, abnormal temperature, glaring light, background music, poor look of speaker, too many gestures, etc. Internal distractions include daydreaming, nervous habits, headache, etc.
  1. 4.                   THINKING SPEED
 People generally speak betweens 80 and 160 words per minute. But they can think four times faster. So, a listener has much time. This difference between speeds may divert the attention of the listener.
  1. 5.                   PREJUDGMENT
 Very often people jump to the conclusions. They themselves suppose a result. Without giving the speaker time, they arrive at a result. Then they are no more in a receptive mood. How can listening occur in this situation?
  1. 6.                   HATEFUL WORDS
 We hate some people. In the same way, we hate some words. We have negative associations with some words. We do not listen to the speaker who uses such words repeatedly. This thing causes poor listening.
  1. 7.                   POOR DELIVERY
 The way of delivering a message influences the listener. Poor delivery levels the people bored and uninterested. A monotone can send the listeners to sleep. Faulty pronunciation annoys them. A stammering speaker causes problems.
 TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE LISTENING SKILLS
 OR
 HOW TO BE A GOOD LISTENER
 Any one can be a good listener. Here are some techniques:
 BE PREPAID
 Like any other activity, listening also requires preparation. For a class, this means completing your reading and assignment responsibilities. For an outside speaker, you can learn something about the speaker, the topic, the audience, the situation before attending.
BE OPEN-MINDED
We have our pinions about the people. We may not like what is being said but we should listen. We may learn something that may decrease a prejudice. Try to suppress the biases. Give the speaker a chance to make the point.

STANDARD PARTS OF A BUSINESS LETTER

A business letter has following standard/ essential/ compulsory parts:
  1. LETTERHEAD/ HEADING
Letterhead/ heading shows the sending organization’s name, full address , telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, etc. sometimes, the major products, branches, list or directors is also included in it. It is printed at the top of the sheet. It may be all capitalized and centralized. The receiver of the letter knows at a glance where the letter was written, e.g.
THE BANK OFPUNJAB
100- THE MALL
LAHORE
  1. DATE
The date shows when the letter was written. It appears below the letterhead at left margin or just past the center. Always use the full name of month. Never use a number for the month. The most common ways of writing a date are as follow:
January 20, 2012.      20 January, 2012
  1. INSIDEADDRESS
The inside address belong to the receiver of letter. It contains title and address of receiver. Sometimes the name of the receiver is also included in it. Place a courtesy title, such as Mr., Dr., Ms. Before the name of the receiver. Inside address is placed below the date at the left margin. It should consist of at least two lines:
The controller of examination,
University of thePunjab,
Lahore.
  1. SALUTATION
it is courteous opening of the letter. It is placed below the inside address at left margin. The salutation is based on the relationship between sender and the receiver. These are some common used salutation:
Dear Sir, My dear Sir, Dear Madam, My dear Smith, Dear Smith. Etc. if the receiver’s name or sex is not known; use title such as Dear Client, Dear Dean.
When you address an organization, use the salutation such as Sirs, gentlemen. If the organization comprises women, use the title Mesdames.
  1. BODY
The body of letter is our message. It is major part of the letter. The process of communication revolves around it. It contains information in the shape of sentences, sub-headings, or lists. The body may be divided into different paragraphs as per need
.
  1. COMPLIMENTORY CLOSE
It is courteous leave-taking of the reader. Complimentary close should be in accordance with the salutation. It is placed below the body at left margin or just past the center. Some commonly used complimentary closes are as follow:
Sincerely yours, Cordially yours, Truly yours, etc.
  1. SIGNATURE AREA
Signature area gives information about the sender of the letter. It shows three identification of the sender. It contains signature, name, and title. It may be placed below the complimentary close at the left margin or just past the center, e.g.
Ahmad Nawaz
AHMAD NAWAZ
President