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The Truth about the New Rules of Business Writing
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Table of Contents

Introduction xiPart I The truth about what makes writing workTRUTH 1 Most people aim for the wrong target 1TRUTH 2 If you can say it, you can write it 5TRUTH 3 Forget yesterday--write for today 9TRUTH 4 Planning is the magic ingredient 13TRUTH 5 To achieve your goal, look below its surface 17TRUTH 6 Cut to the chase: Put the bottom line on top 21TRUTH 7 "Me"-focused messages fail 25TRUTH 8 People are not the same: Write for differences 29TRUTH 9 Tone makes--or breaks--your message 33TRUTH 10 Knowing your inside story is the key 37TRUTH 11 Forget outlines--organize your thinking 41TRUTH 12 How to organize is a personal choice 45TRUTH 13 Every message you send has a psychological impact 49TRUTH 14 Effective messages lead with strength 53TRUTH 15 To succeed, cover your ground and remember "the ask" 57TRUTH 16 Your goal and audience determine the best way to communicate 61Part II The truth about self-editingTRUTH 17 The best writers don't write; they rewrite 65TRUTH 18 Rhythm and transitions make writing move 69TRUTH 19 Less can be a whole lot more 73TRUTH 20 Passive thinking and jargon undermine clarity 77TRUTH 21 You don't need grammar drills to spot your writing problems 81Part III The truth about successful e-mailTRUTH 22 Use e-mail to communicate in the fast lane--powerfully 85TRUTH 23 Good subject lines say, "Open sesame" 89TRUTH 24 Know your e-mail do's and don'ts 93TRUTH 25 Writing good progress reports is worth your time 97Part IV The truth about lettersTRUTH 26 Letters: They live! And you need them 101TRUTH 27 Letters build relationships 105TRUTH 28 Cover letters matter, big time 109Part V The truth about reports and proposalsTRUTH 29 Good reports generate action 113TRUTH 30 Organizing complex projects isn't that hard 117TRUTH 31 Well-crafted proposals win 121TRUTH 32 The letter format lets you shortcut proposals 125TRUTH 33 Root grant applications in "mission"--yours and the funder's 129Part VI The truth about Web sitesTRUTH 34 Writing is the missing factor in your competitors' Web sites 133TRUTH 35 Web sites built on keywords and content build traffi c 137TRUTH 36 A home page must crystallize who you are 141Part VII The truth about new mediaTRUTH 37 Blogging and social media are powerful business tools 145TRUTH 38 To blog for yourself, be yourself, but carefully 149TRUTH 39 Good business blogging is edgy 153TRUTH 40 Tweeting and texting: the ultimate self-edit challenge 157TRUTH 41 E-letters focus marketing and reinforce branding 161TRUTH 42 Good PowerPoint is more than pretty faces: It starts with writing 165Part VIII The truth about writing to self-marketTRUTH 43 Strong resumes focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities 169TRUTH 44 Fliers are easy all-purpose promotional tools 173TRUTH 45 It pays to think PR and send news releases 177TRUTH 46 Writing articles boosts your career 181TRUTH 47 The virtual world offers self-publishing power 185Part IX The truth about tricks of the tradeTRUTH 48 Good headlines help your writing work--a lot 189TRUTH 49 Skillful interviewing is a major (but unrecognized) business asset 193TRUTH 50 Readers are global: Try not to confuse them 197TRUTH 51 Clarity is next to godliness 201TRUTH 52 You can fix your own grammar goofs 205Online-only contentReferencesCreating a style sheetResources

Promotional Information

Want a powerful competitive advantage? Become a better business writer. Better writers get better jobs and more promotions. Winning is about persuading people, and that means writing: emails, Web sites, presentations, proposals, resumes, grant proposals, you name it. Businesses know this: that's why they spend $3 billion a year helping their employees become more effective writers. If you hated writing in school, or if you just weren't that good at it, we have great news. Business writing has changed. Forget jargon, pomposity, grammar drills: just figure out what you want to say and say it simply, quickly, conversationally. The Truth About Business Writing That Works shows you exactly how to do that. Step by step, you'll learn how to plan and organize your content; make your point faster; tell your readers what's in it for them; construct winning documents of every kind, print and electronic, even blog entries and text messages! The Truth About Writing That Works brings together its field's best knowledge, and shows exactly how to put it to work. With an "aha" on every page, it presents information in a clear, accessible style that's easy to understand and use. Written in short chapters, it covers the entire field, cuts to the heart of every topic, pulls back the curtain on expert secrets, and pops the bubble of commonly-held assumptions. Simply put, this book delivers easy, painless writing techniques that work.

About the Author

Natalie Canavor has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, corporate communicator, and copywriter. She is currently a communications consultant and business writer whose publications, articles, Web sites, and video scripts earn international awards. Her features have appeared in a wide range of print and online media, including The New York Times. Earlier she created four national magazine start-ups and served as executive director of communications for New York State's largest educational agency. She also authored a successful book on marketing for photographers and leads workshops on writing for results. Claire Meirowitz, principal of Professional Editing Services, manages projects and edits print, e-letters, and Web materials for a nationwide client base in information technology and banking, among others. She is also a writer and publication editor who cofounded and edited several journals in the labor relations field and award-winning newsletters for the education industry. She formerly directed publication and community relations for SUNY College at Old Westbury, where she oversaw production of more than 400 publications annually. Together, Natalie and Claire own C&M Business Writing Services, providing writing, editing, and project management to organizations. They also present business writing workshops and write a column on writing and editing for the International Association of Business Communicators' online magazine, distributed internationally.

Reviews

"The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is filled with insights into improving all your written business communications. From everyday letters, e-mails, and reports to Web site content, proposals, and new media, you'll discover what it takes to make every written word count. A valuable resource, written in a concise and easy-to-read format, that you'll turn to again and again."Jerry Allocca, President, CORE Interactive "An Elements of Style for our time...accessible, step-wise advice for communicating ideas to modern readers, whether of e-mails, promotional materials, or the printed page."Susan Gilbert, President, Interactive Elements Inc. "The essential skill of today's businessperson is the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively. We are now often judged solely on the basis of our written communications. The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing will make you a much better communicator. It's packed with examples, checklists, and easy-to-follow guides. This book has plenty of smart ideas you'll immediately apply to e-mails, letters, reports, Web, and social media. If you want to instantly improve the quality of your writing, this is the book to read."Victor Urbach, President, The Optran Group; Publisher, The Urbach Letter "Times have changed. Business has changed. The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing really does speak the truth for today's marketplace. It covers all the ground, including things like e-mail and social media. It should be required reading for people starting careers, looking to move up the ladder, or even when they start a business. It will be required reading for my sales team!"Jim Josephson, Vice President, U.S. Sales, Energy Advantage Inc. "Filled with clear, practical principles and examples, The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is an essential guidebook for businesspeople who want their writing to get results. This useful reference book takes the fear out of putting fingers to the keyboard. Keep it on your desk because you'll refer to it often."Julie Freeman, ABC, President, International Association of Business Communicators "All my clients are getting a copy of The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing. It's packed with practical tips that even the most experienced writer can use. It's an easy read, but don't let that fool you. My new mantra is, 'Is it say-able?'"Karen Susman, The Networking ToolboxTM, Speaker, Trainer, and Author "Business is about communication, and Natalie and Claire have given us a crucial and invaluable tool. Whether you're writing a simple e-mail or a multimillion dollar proposal, The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is a must read!"Jeff Goldberg, Professional Speaker, Trainer, Coach, and Author "The authors ofThe Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing understand that your true business abilities are transmitted to your colleagues and clients through your e-mails, memos, documents, and reports. If your writing is drab and old-fashioned, confusing or conflicted, you're in need of a writing makeover. This sharp, concise, and useful book gives you a step-by-step guide to making your writing shine with the clarity and impact that's demanded in today's competitive business environment."Deborah K. Herman, Founder and Publisher, Building Long Island "Good writing starts with good thinking. This book shows you how to do both--and in a way that's effective for our electronic present."Peter Krass, President, Petros Consulting LLC "The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is a masterfully crafted guide of best practices for effective and practical business writing in the 21st century. A dynamic writing duo, Canavor and Meirowitz provide an eloquent communication tool for print and digital media in today's evolving, fast-paced global society."Jessica McAleer Decatur, Director of Public Relations, St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

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