texting

You probably didn’t know that a well-written text can “improve your dating life.” According to Joshua Pompey’s post, The Power of Texting, it will.

As absurd as the idea sounds, in some ways it’s true. Just as a prospective date may respond positively to a text that’s “fun, interesting and brief,” a prospective client or employer may also respond positively to an email or letter that’s “fun, interesting and brief.”

I found myself thinking about this seemingly unlikely parallel the other day as I was busy preparing materials for a workshop on improving written communication. The workshop addresses the frequent problems I regularly see in business writing. For example:

• Vague and imprecise language
• Wordiness
• Run on sentences
• Two words instead of one precise word
• Weak grammar
• Poor punctuation

You might not think that any of the above would matter, in a text or tweet. And it is true that in texting there are practices that break the conventions of good writing. (Or, I should say, it’s true in “txting.”) But take a look at the following bits of online advice about good tweeting. You’ll see that, in fact, there are some distinct similarities between good texting and tweeting, and good business writing.

Biztwitter.com
“When you write a Tweet, imagine how your followers will use it. How will it help them?”

Translation: Think about your audience.

Adweek.com
“Many people (enormous numbers if you use the internet as a gauge) feel that, rightly or wrongly, missing or incorrect use of punctuation reflects poorly on the writer.”

Translation: Think about appearing professional.

Social Media.com
“But that limit [140 characters] shouldn’t be seen as an issue, it should be seen as an opportunity…THINK MESSAGE FIRST!”

Translation: Think about your end goal.

Adweek.com:
“Use consistent excellence to stand out from the crowd.”

Translation: Think about creating polished communications.

The above advice about composing effective tweets applies equally to any form of business communication. After all, writing short, precise communications makes your audience pay attention. So, the next time you sit down to write for business purposes, you might want to think about how to get your message across in a 140 character tweet, or in a brief text. Who knows, thinking this way might even help you land that date as well!

To learn how to get prospective clients and employers to respond more positively to your emails and letters, contact me.

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