Know who your audience is and write for it.
Knowing who you are writing for goes hand-in-hand with identifying your reasons for writing. Keep who and why in mind and you will be able to engage your reader and keep them reading.
This is a principle that holds true for any written communication, whether it’s a business letter, report, sales letter or advertisement. Think about what you know about the recipient – their position in the company, their age, their gender, their technical know-how. Then use the information when you write.
Knowing who you are writing for will help you:
- Choose the appropriate vocabulary – you will know if they understand your business’s jargon or not. If not, don’t use it
- To avoid words that put up barriers and use those that are clear and simple to understand – ‘make unclear’ not ‘obfuscate’, ‘the item I mentioned in the previous paragraph’ not the ‘aforementioned’
- Adopt the right tone – you can be familiar with your coworkers, but if you’re writing to a board member or a client, you may want to be more formal. ‘Good morning’ rather than ‘hi’