Category Archives: Writing Fundamentals

Free Video for Classroom Use: The Three-Step Solution to Three Intimidating Challenges in Business Communication

Here is the second video in our new series that addresses a variety of specific communication challenges and offers practical advice that students can apply now in their coursework and take with them on the job. This video helps students tackle three challenges that all students and all business professionals face: Making every message and […]

Hall of Fame: Red Ants Pants Communicates with an Authentic Voice (with PowerPoint Slides for Classroom Use)

Sarah Calhoun founded Red Ants Pants because she was frustrated by the lack of hard-wearing pants for hard-working women. Her passion for meeting the needs of her customers shines through in the company's communication efforts—along with her zeal for making work fun and meaningful. Not many firms could tell their founding story in goofy rhyming […]

Hall of Fame: CDBaby Shows How to Meet Reader Needs (with PowerPoint Slides for Classroom Use)

CD Baby, the world’s largest retailer of independent music, uses clear, positive language to help musicians understand the process of selling their music through the company and its affiliates. By making the effort to communicate clearly and succinctly, the company encourages a positive response from its target readers. We've annotated two slides that point out […]

Hall of Fame: GamesRadar.com’s Use of Twitter for Content Teasers (with PowerPoint Slide for Classroom Use)

One of the most effective business uses of Twitter is as a "headline-announcement service," alerting readers to new blog posts, new pieces in online magazines, and other fresh content. However, writing effective Twitter teasers for any given target audience is a bit of an artform. The videogame review site GamesRadar.com does a good job of […]

Teachable Moments with Infographic Résumés

Infographic résumés are getting a lot of buzz these days. We cover them in all three of our business communication textbooks and provide a variety of examples via our Real-Time Updates and Business Communication Headline News services. In certain situations, a well-designed infographic résumé used at the right point in the job application process can be […]

Hall of Fame: Creative Commons’s Effective Use of Plain Language (with PowerPoint Slide for Classroom Use)

The ability to explain complex topics in clear terms is one of the most important skills a business communicator can have. This example from the Creative Commons website, explaining three levels of content licensing, demonstrates the power of plain language. Bovee and Thill blog – Hall of Fame – Creative Commons website

Vexatious Grammar: What’s Your Rule About Rules That Aren’t Really Rules?

 When those who spend their lives writing and evaluating the writing of others don’t always agree on the rules of grammar, it’s easy to empathize with students who want to get it right but aren’t always sure what “right” is. It’s one thing to not know or not follow a rule. It’s quite another when […]

Should the Business Communication Course Change to Reflect the Media Preferences of Generation Y?

One of the more intriguing aspects of age diversity in the workplace is the degree to which technology has shaped the communication habits and preferences of each generation. For instance, Generation Y (roughly speaking, those born between 1981 and 1995) has a well-documented preference for electronic media, from texting to IM to social networking. Coupled […]

This Stuff Is Important: “Strategic Informality” in Business Communication

When Google wanted to alert users to significant changes in its online privacy policy, it didn't couch the news in the formal language that corporations normally use for major policy announcements. Instead, it used phrases such as "This stuff is important" and "This stuff matters." Whether or not one believes "stuff" is stylistically appropriate language […]