Writing for Business Short Courses
This evening course is for business professionals who want to improve their writing for business skills. It is a highly practical course suitable for anyone whose job involves writing corporate documents, or who wants their business writing to stand out in a crowd.
Topics covered in this Writing for Business short course include: how to write marketing texts, mission statements, press releases, USP’s and corporate documents for external, in- house, web and blog use, how to conduct interviews, how to edit documents, how to write speeches, and how to write for the digital market.
Students will be set homework and class exercises each week and tutor feedback will be given throughout the course. You will be expected to share your written work with the group as well as with the tutor, and give and receive feedback in class.
Please note this is a course for those already working within a business environment. It is not suitable for those wishing to improve their English.
Why Choose a City Short Course?
Our Writing for Business short course enables business professionals to enhance their corporate document writing skills across a range of business functions.
Our 10 weekly evening classes, tutored by an experienced journalist and writer, will help students to improve their writing skills and learn best practices for business writing.
Dates and Fees to be confirmed
Marianne Gray is a journalist and PR who started concentrating on Business Writing after writing two books on self-employment, Working From Home and The Freelance Alternative (both Piatkus). She taught at City's Starting in Business course, has been involved with several small business agencies and also tutors writing at the London School of PR. She has her own PR company, MGPR, and is an international freelance journalist. She has written six books including biographies on French actors Gerard Depardieu and Jeanne Moreau. She is currently associate director of the French Film Festival (UK), a director of Peckhamplex, a former president of the British Critics' Circle and member of the Society of Authors and PEN.
Howard Walwyn is a freelance writer and editor who helps people write clear business English. After a long career in the City of London, including the Bank of England and J.P. Morgan, in 2016 he established a new writing, editorial, consultancy and training business Prism-Clarity and now works with a range of business clients, educational establishments and students, helping to improve the clarity of their documentation and their business writing skills. He has degrees in English Language and Literature (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Economics (London), enabling him to bridge the worlds of business and language: he is currently writing a book Clear Business English for Financial Services Professionals which he hopes will be published in 2018. You can find out more about Howard here: www.prism-clarity.com, or on Twitter @prismdocuments.
No specific qualifications are necessary but students should be working within a business environment and have a desire to improve their written skills within this context.
Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English.
What will I learn?
Week 1: Getting the background
- Discussion of what subjects/aims the group has in mind
- Analysis of different types of business writing, from highly technical to lighter profiles, press releases to mission statements, reviews, diary pieces and news and current interest reports
- Building confidence, assessing your skills, writing under pressure
- How to get overall angles and ideas and spot timelines
- Importance of being accurate, succinct and creative
- WRITE SELF-PROFILE in THIRD PERSON.
Week 2: Understanding the market and the reader
- A study of a cross section of corporate publications
- How to adapt the tone and style of a text to suit another outlet
- Reader profiles of various titles - WHY would they want to read it?
- Different styles of writing
- Who/what is the media/audience delivering to?
- How to find out who they are
- ANALYSIS OF READERS
Week 3: Getting down to research
- Where to get more information/source facts
- Do we rely too much on the Internet?
- Finding the central idea and building on it
- Useful tools: synopsis/summary from longer documents
- Writing the first draft -planning the text
- WRITE A SUMMARY
Week 4: Interviewing and archiving
- Making sure you are clear what you want from an interviewee
- Angling your questions and understanding the answers
- How to encourage better quotes and dealing with difficult people.
- Transcribing, organizing notes, building an archive
- Reworking existing material. Acquiring new angles : listening (radio), watching (TV)
- INTERVIEW IN CLASS AND WRITE PROFILE
Week 5: Finding the 'direction' in Press Releases/Publicity/Marketing Texts
- Mission statements/ USPs/in-house newsletter/CEOs newsletter
- Is it newsworthy? Recognising the story? Timely? A hook?
- Have you enough substance to issue a new text?
- Is it useful and relevant info about your organisation?
- Will it cover 'exciting' new ground
- If it's a 'worthy' story, how to make it news-worthy
- WRITE A PRESS RELEASE
Week 6: Writing the document
- Project Managing a document
- Structure and layout (building blocks)
- Clarity and precise words - style and tone
- Avoiding goobledeegook, fluff or fancy words
- Boxes and sidebars, good quotes, strong headline/intro
- Writing style and tone for a stimulating read
- Finding the right words, creating the best order
- Rules of grammar, punctuation
- WRITE A REVIEW ON A PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Week 7: Delivering press releases/publicity/marketing documents
- Correct style - why would they want to read it? Main faults.
- Relating to the journalist, making it easy for them
- Why are they going to relate to it?
- Delivery style and getting it placed
- Repurposing a document
- Following up
- TALK THROUGH A FOLLOW-UP PHONECALL/EMAIL
Week 8: Going Digital
- Brevity, different style, writing for the web
- Twitter/blogs/facebook - making them work for you
- How to tighten up the first draft
- Adding elements to widen the scope of your text
- Writing techniques
- Importance of social media
- CLASS DISCUSSION FOLLOWED BY WRITTEN EXERCISE
Week 9: Legalities and finalities
- Legal issues and rights
- Copyright, plagiarism
- Editing and proofreading
- Dealing with journalists, pitching/negotiating
- Business letters/emails, beginnings, endings, vocabulary
- Risk management/complaint strategy, helpful words to use
- EDIT CEO'S QUARTERLY LETTER TO STAFF
Week 10: Presenting yourself in a businesslike manner
- Writing a CV/resume/bio
- How to write a speech/presentation
- How to do radio/tv interviews on your product/service
- How to get people interested in your ideas, cold calling
- Building up relationships with the right people for future work
- Places to find help with brand vision and business advice
- MAKING A SHORT SPEECH/PRESENTATION
Teaching and Assessment
Informal assessment will take place through group discussion, class room activities, and questions and answers sessions as guided by your tutor. Homework will be set each week.
Evans, Harold (2000) Essential English, Pimlico