In this new series we tackle four of the most common types of written business communication: transactional, persuasive, informational, and instructional. Here we’ll tap into the dos and don’ts, the when and where to use, and the how-to for each individual method. In a time when our in-person footprints are shrinking and our digital ones expanding, communication is even more vital to connection. Dive in with us to explore the details among the differences.
What on earth is business writing?
‘Business writing is a type of writing that is used in a professional setting'. While we utilize a multitude of methods for communication and connection, there are particular types of business writings needed for that necessary and effective business communication. With many options available, ‘the vast variety of business writing can be divided into four major categories’. All parts of business writing have a particular purpose - they seek to share pertinent information in a ‘clear and concise manner’. Your individual audience seeks ‘key points’ and writing that is ‘in line with your company brand’. Unless you’re connected with the individuals at hand, business communication is more often geared towards results rather than conversation.
Transactional Business Writing - what is it?
Today we often explore connection via those digital methods; it's in those day to day conversations where the transactional approach is found. Think about those ‘emails, instant messages, invoices, short memos, forms, and letters’ - this is where that transactional method shines. I don’t know about your inbox these days, but the amount of constant contact that continues to hit our accounts is madness. Once you muddle through the noise, there are those business emails you actually choose to return and for that actionable, brief, daily communication - transactional business writing is the lesson of the day. Keep in mind there’s a targeted purpose for each part of your entire document (including emails). ‘Excessive wording, jargon, or extraneous information have no place’ in this type of communication. Vital to that effective communication (especially in a time of limited in-person interactions), transactional business writing is short, to the point, and while it’s still quite challenging for me, devoid of the flowery extras .
When to employ this method?
Of course, this is one of the many methods of communication available to us. We employ this particular one for things such as ‘official letters, forms, invoices’ , emails, and even dismissal notices; all things that are used for those general business operations and many having to do with transactions from human resources. Use the transactional method when the goal is ‘to provide necessary details of the procedure and its official context’ . In business, contact between colleagues, customers, and companies, often happens at a mile a minute; the conversation must be clear and able to quickly provide that essential information. And, of course, if you’re new to this type of thing, there are heaps of courses available online particularly designed to help improve your skills.
No matter which type of communication you choose to utilize, ‘write clearly and succinctly…[and use] the proper level of formality required’. With all of the daily communication, especially for entrepreneurs, it’s possible that those business emails are co-mingled with lots of other life-related messages; ‘understanding different business writing styles helps improve overall business documentation’. Keep the conversation light, use more bullet-point speech than others, and deliver your message as clearly as possible.
As we continue to navigate our way through an ever-changing business landscape, consider your connections, conserve your creativity, and channel your clarity in your communication. And remember, we’re right here with you riding out all that comes next.