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The Importance of Writing for Small Businesses

I recently had the opportunity to write a good news article for a local small business to share their 2-year report card with existing and new clients. It was such a fun assignment to be able to interview the client and listen to the passion in their voice at what they do and why it's important to them and for their customers. It got me wondering whether all the micro and small businesses in my community realized the potential that a good news story or a promotional article or blog might have for their business.

I've grown up with an experience of small business. My mom was a consultant for one home-based business or another or she was making aprons or tea towels, or knitting dish clothes or toddler hats to sell at markets. My grandmother owned a jewellery store, first in Sidney and then in Victoria, and went on to be a consultant before retiring. My grandfather was a handy man after he retired from farming, which is itself a small business. As well, I worked for several small…

PAM: The Heart of Communication

PAM is a concept that is critical as both a reader and a writer. It stands for Purpose, Audience, and Message and is a part of the rhetorical situation that exists in all communication, whether written, verbal, or visual. One of the keys to effective communication is being clear on your PAM, because if you are clear, then your reader will understand it as well. So let's unpack this a bit. The Purpose gives the WHY of your communication. Being clear on why you are communicating and what you hope to achieve will help you sort through your ideas later on and will help the reader understand your motivation and goal. Some key questions to ask yourself include: Why are you writing? What gave rise to the need for the communication? Are you trying to persuade, explain, or entertain your reader? What do you want the readers to do after they've read or listened to or seen your communication?The Audience gives the TO WHOM of your communication. Having a clear idea…

Balanced Prose -- What does that mean?

Writing is hard work. Or let me rephrase that -- Good writing is hard work. By "good," I mean the kind of writing that effectively communicates your message to your audience to successfully achieve your purpose.
Of course, there are times and situations where it is perfectly feasible to dash off a quick email or short memo that gets the job done, and many of us are familiar with the last minute essay.
But what if you want to do more than "get the job done"? What if what you are writing carries weight, be it in grades or in potential cost or opportunity? It's situations like those that require intention in planning, drafting, and revising to ensure it is "good".
It is in those moments that you are striving for balanced prose.
Balanced prose is communication that strikes the right chord between ideas and expression. To your readers, it flows smoothly so that they are unaware that they are being carried along. They are free to engage with your ideas becau…