Business writing. The mere mention of it can cause even the most seasoned corporate employees to shudder in their boots. Just thinking about the politics of something like a white paper is enough to turn what should be an enjoyable and productive process into weeks of dread and loathing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A white paper writing service would remove the politics from the writing process by shifting writing responsibilities to an outsource partner.
Connotations offers such a service, which we will talk about at the end of this post. First, however, it would be helpful to explain why we offer this service and how it is helpful to clients. The Harvard Business Review’s Josh Bernoff published a great piece on 15 September (2016) that will provide a launching point for this post.
Destroying Work by Review
Bernoff’s basic premise is that there are employees with very good business writing skills capable of doing a more-than-adequate job if they were just given their assignments and left alone. But that’s not the way it works. In a corporate environment, business writing goes through an arduous review process before anything is ever published. What starts out as an excellent piece can quickly become incoherent and somewhat painful to read after making it through multiple layers of review.
Using comments gleaned from professional writers and marketers with their own experiences in business writing, Bernoff lays out four review process pitfalls that are likely to ruin good writing:
- Reviewers Are Not Writers – Those involved in the review process are often not very good writers themselves. This issue is bad enough by itself, but it is exacerbated when the individual tasked with final approval is a terrible writer. It’s like asking someone who can’t boil water to approve a new recipe for a five-star restaurant.
- Reviewers Lack Creativity – The best writers in any genre bring a tremendous amount of creativity to what they do. That same creativity may not be in the repertoire of reviewers. In such cases, creativity can easily be stifled, and even rewritten, by executives and lawyers who can take a very effective piece and turn it into a watered-down and generalised collection of words.
- Reviewers Love Jargon – Good writing is designed around one principle: clear communication, which is critical in business writing for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, many executives involved in the review process would rather see industry jargon and long-winded sentences over language that people actually Industry jargon destroys clear communications.
- Reviewers Want Too Many Revisions – Lastly, some companies have review processes so long and multi-layered that they lead to excessive revisions; revisions that reduce the original piece to a mere shadow of its former self. A lengthy and complicated review process is a quick way to kill the enthusiasm of the original writer.
If you work for a company whose business writing review process resembles the above, you should understand why Connotations offers a service for creating white papers. Our service takes the politics out of business writing by separating the project from a convoluted review process. That’s not to say the white papers we create are not reviewed; they are. But as outsourcing partners, our writing is less subject to the politics that can make life miserable for internal writers.
If your company produces white papers, a service like ours makes a lot of sense. We invite you to contact us to learn more about it.