The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing (Truth About Series)

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Give yourself a powerful competitive advantage by becoming a better business writer. Better writers get better jobs and more promotions; they persuade people through 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. The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing shows you how to master the art of effective business communication replacing the old standards of jargon, pomposity, and grammar drills with a simple, quick and conversational writing style. Authors Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz demonstrate 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 the New Rules of Business Writing brings together the 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137153152
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 12/30/2009
  • Series: Truth About Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 324,173
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part I The truth about what makes writing work

TRUTH 1 Most people aim for the wrong target 1

TRUTH 2 If you can say it, you can write it 5

TRUTH 3 Forget yesterday--write for today 9

TRUTH 4 Planning is the magic ingredient 13

TRUTH 5 To achieve your goal, look below its surface 17

TRUTH 6 Cut to the chase: Put the bottom line on top 21

TRUTH 7 “Me”-focused messages fail 25

TRUTH 8 People are not the same: Write for differences 29

TRUTH 9 Tone makes--or breaks--your message 33

TRUTH 10 Knowing your inside story is the key 37

TRUTH 11 Forget outlines--organize your thinking 41

TRUTH 12 How to organize is a personal choice 45

TRUTH 13 Every message you send has a psychological impact 49

TRUTH 14 Effective messages lead with strength 53

TRUTH 15 To succeed, cover your ground and remember “the ask” 57

TRUTH 16 Your goal and audience determine the best way to communicate 61

Part II The truth about self-editing

TRUTH 17 The best writers don’t write; they rewrite 65

TRUTH 18 Rhythm and transitions make writing move 69

TRUTH 19 Less can be a whole lot more 73

TRUTH 20 Passive thinking and jargon undermine clarity 77

TRUTH 21 You don’t need grammar drills to spot your writing problems 81

Part III The truth about successful e-mail

TRUTH 22 Use e-mail to communicate in the fast lane--powerfully 85

TRUTH 23 Good subject lines say, “Open sesame” 89

TRUTH 24 Know your e-mail do’s and don’ts 93

TRUTH 25 Writing good progress reports is worth your time 97

Part IV The truth about letters

TRUTH 26 Letters: They live! And you need them 101

TRUTH 27 Letters build relationships 105

TRUTH 28 Cover letters matter, big time 109

Part V The truth about reports and proposals

TRUTH 29 Good reports generate action 113

TRUTH 30 Organizing complex projects isn’t that hard 117

TRUTH 31 Well-crafted proposals win 121

TRUTH 32 The letter format lets you shortcut proposals 125

TRUTH 33 Root grant applications in “mission”--yours and the funder’s 129

Part VI The truth about Web sites

TRUTH 34 Writing is the missing factor in your competitors’ Web sites 133

TRUTH 35 Web sites built on keywords and content build traffi c 137

TRUTH 36 A home page must crystallize who you are 141

Part VII The truth about new media

TRUTH 37 Blogging and social media are powerful business tools 145

TRUTH 38 To blog for yourself, be yourself, but carefully 149

TRUTH 39 Good business blogging is edgy 153

TRUTH 40 Tweeting and texting: the ultimate self-edit challenge 157

TRUTH 41 E-letters focus marketing and reinforce branding 161

TRUTH 42 Good PowerPoint is more than pretty faces: It starts with writing 165

Part VIII The truth about writing to self-market

TRUTH 43 Strong resumes focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities 169

TRUTH 44 Fliers are easy all-purpose promotional tools 173

TRUTH 45 It pays to think PR and send news releases 177

TRUTH 46 Writing articles boosts your career 181

TRUTH 47 The virtual world offers self-publishing power 185

Part IX The truth about tricks of the trade

TRUTH 48 Good headlines help your writing work--a lot 189

TRUTH 49 Skillful interviewing is a major (but unrecognized) business asset 193

TRUTH 50 Readers are global: Try not to confuse them 197

TRUTH 51 Clarity is next to godliness 201

TRUTH 52 You can fix your own grammar goofs 205

Online-only content


Creating a style sheet


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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A practical, accessible guide to a vital career skill: effective business writing

    Some people believe good writing involves big words, long sentences and complicated concepts. Nothing could be further from the truth, explain Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz, co-owners of a business writing consultancy and co-authors of this handy guide. That's why they spell out the tenets of effective business writing in 52 simple "truths," covering virtually every type of business communication, from emails, letters and reports to websites and blogs. Their message is that good writing is concise, engaging and accessible - much like human conversation. They warn that, in this day of information overload, your communications have to meet these criteria or no one will read them. Though their writing advice is not particularly groundbreaking, Canavor and Meirowitz offer a clear, comprehensive, easy-to-use manual. getAbstract predicts that their guide will quickly become a well-thumbed resource.

    Read more about this book in the online summary:

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Excellent resource

    This is a great book for those looking to improve their writing skills for any reason. (Or for folks who want their employees to become better writers!) It's easy to read, with helpful tips and insight throughout. I will definitely use it often as a reference.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 24, 2013

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    Posted May 19, 2013

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