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Pitching Business or Marketing Material to Your Audience; 2005 Murkiest Writing Contest Information (Marketing Memo, December, 2005)

Writing for your audience can be challenging. One technique is to envision a persona or agent and to direct your business or marketing writing towards this persona. This technique has helped students in my business writing classes at Babson College focus their writing.

QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CREATING A PERSONA

  • What do you know about your reader?
  • What is the reader's role in or connection with your company?
  • How does this role affect the reader's information needs?
  • Does the person have a technical or business background?
  • What are the reader's pain points and biases?
  • What does the reader already know about your company and your offerings?
  • What does the reader expect to learn from you?
  • What three or four salient points do you need to convey? While answering the above questions, try to envision your reader. Then, customize your main points and examples so that they will resonate with your reader. You may need to talk with co-workers or with your reader to ensure that you understand the reader's needs. If you are writing for people with varied backgrounds or needs, you may have to write more than one version of the document.

2005 MURKIEST WRITING CONTEST

Send us examples of the most convoluted, disorganized, and poorly worded business or professional documents that you have received.

Contest Information

  • Submit one entry per person to ruth@winettassociates.com by December 31, 2005.
  • Entries may be from one sentence to one paragraph in length.
  • Entries should not contain personal information or company confidential information.
  • Selection criteria include wordiness, unclear purpose or message, inappropriate or excessive details, and awkward or incorrect grammar and usage.
  • The winner will receive an Amazon.com gift certificate.
  • We will publish the winning entry in our next newsletter.
  • To see the 2004 winning entry, call (508-877-1938) or send an email to ruth@winettassociates.com.

Winett Associates provides market analysis and writing services.

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