There are several forms of technical writing. Each form is important to business success and influences their viability and success. Those unfamiliar with how effective technical writing can improve a company’s performance and overall satisfaction of its employees and vendors, often overlook that importance. The data are clear – companies that focus on effective communication succeed. Rich Maggiani, a communications consultant in Essex, Vermont asserts that the return on investment for communications focused companies is 57% higher than those exhibiting poor communications skills. He further states that those companies who lose sight of effective communication can lose up to 15% of their market valuation (Maggiani). Organizational studies further solidify that not only is profitability improved, but also employee retention is improved (Watson, Wyatt & Company). Let us explore some of the ways that technical writing as communication can be effective tools. Throughout this exploration, we will look at three distinct methods of technical writing that businesses use to communicate.
The first technical writing method we look at is proposals. A proposal is the persuasion document that brings to life a project or entices new clients to employ services. The effectiveness of a proposal is highly dependent upon its assembly. The proposal is the first real communication between parties that establish a desire to work together to achieve a common goal. This goal could be a simple business-to-business transaction or a complex plan to develop a spacecraft for deep space exploration. The proposal might outline the submitter’s expertise, time lines for completion, cost of the project and resources the submitter will use to make the project successful. In short, the proposal is the ultimate sales pitch.
The effectiveness and subsequently the importance of the proposal are paramount. Many companies realize this and spend considerable effort in producing effective proposals. Since the proposal is a sales tool, it importance and role in corporate world is decidedly set. Without effective proposals, businesses would find attracting new clients more difficult and dealings between departments would become strained. Each of these has a negative impact on corporate culture, resulting in a decreasing overall value of the company.
Despite the seemingly high importance of the proposal, it is no more important than letters. If you ask most people what a letter is, you will probably get the generic answer that they are documents that convey information between parties. While this is technically correct, it is also simplistic since their role is usually larger than conveying a simple message. A business letter, especially a formal one, is that communication, which conveys information designed to achieve a particular goal.
When a business writes a letter, there are ramifications that exceed the small window of the writer’s point of view. An unskilled writer might...