three-step writing process business communication header

The Three-Step Writing Process in Business Communication

Effective business writing is important to a company because it helps create efficient communication that leads to increased productivity, faster problem solving, stronger decision-making, and increased profits. It also helps boost the organizations credibility.

To some professionals, writing is a daunting task however. So much so, that they have a fear of laying ink on paper and often miss deadlines or poorly communicating company or marketing information. This ends up wasting company resources such as time and money. The truth is, writing, like any other skill, takes practice to master.

Business writing skills are not only a marketers valuable asset, but essential to the position. As part of the job, a marketing professional is required to write advertising copy, press releases, sales copy, internal reports, social media postings, blog posts, and a lot more.

The three-step writing process helps business writers and marketing professionals create effective messages in any medium. It helps them get their points across while meeting their target audiences needs. The process also ensures writers make best use of their time as well as their audiences time.

Below are the steps to the three-step writing process (See the Three-Step Writing Process chart below.). As the writer gets more practice with the three-step writing process, it becomes easier to write and more automatic.

Three-Step Writing Process

  1. Plan
  2. Write
  3. Complete
Three Step Writing Process Business Communications

Chart depicting the three-step writing process in business communications. Diagram created by Allen Stafford for Marketing Binder.

Three-Step Writing Process Details

1. Planning

Analyze the Situation
Define the reason or purpose you are writing and develop an audience profile.

Gather Information
Determine the audiences needs and gather information required to satisfy those needs.

Select the Right Delivery Vehicle
Determine the best medium (delivery vehicle) for communicating the message.

Organize the Information
Define the main communication idea and select a direct or an indirect approach. Outline the content to be communicated.

2. Write

Adapt to the Audience
Connect with your audience by being sensitive to their needs and using a “you” attitude. (See explanation of the “you” attitude below.)

Build a strong relationship with he audience by establishing credibility and projecting your company’s brand image. Use a conversational tone, plain English, and an appropriate voice to deliver the message.

Compose the Message
Choose strong words that create effective sentences and coherent paragraphs.

3. Complete

Revise the Message
Evaluate the content and review it for readability. If required, edit the content and rewrite for conciseness and clarity.

Produce the Message
Use effective design elements for a clean and professional layout.

Proofread the Message
Review the communication for errors in the layout. Check the spelling and mechanics as well.

Distribute the Message
Deliver the message using the chosen communication vehicle. Make sure that all documents and files relevant to the communication item are successfully distributed.

While the process of writing may seem challenging at first, practicing often and implementing the three-step writing process will help improve communication. The more that a business professional writes and uses the three-step process, the more automatic it becomes.


The "You" Attitude

The “you” attitude is an audience-centered approach to communicating that involves understanding and respecting your audience and making every effort to get your message across in a way that is meaningful to them.

The “you” attitude is in contrast to messages that are in stark contrast to messages that are about “me.” The goal is to learn as much as possible about your audience. Learn things such as their biases, education, age, status, style, as well as personal and professional concerns. Using this informant you are able to satisfy their need though communication.

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