Tag Archives: conversational tone

Why do I feel jittery after drinking coffee?: How to create FAQs

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coffee FAQFAQs (frequently asked questions) have become a marketing communications staple. You can find them on websites, flyers, and in brochures. People think they’re helpful because they can find their particular question and quickly get an answer without having to read through a jungle of copy. And FAQs can be about any kind of product or service, from complicated, technical components to something as simple as a cup of coffee.

FAQs can also reduce the number of calls to customer service, and they show customers your organization understands their needs.

What do they want to know?

If you find yourself having to develop FAQs, before you write a single word, think about who your audience is and consider what their particular concerns might be. It’s a good idea to seek input from sales and other field personnel, customers and/or coworkers to develop your list of questions. You might find it helpful to develop your FAQs around the journalistic basics of who? what? when? where? why? and how? Continue reading Why do I feel jittery after drinking coffee?: How to create FAQs

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Writing clearly, saying it simply

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Window cleaning 2I recently received an email that demonstrated to me why writing clearly is a neglected skill set. An executive at the corporation where I work sent it, and it opened with these two paragraphs:

Organizational Announcement

“As we set our sights on the future and begin to transform our industry, it is essential that we have the right talent in place to drive growth and business success.

“For the past several months, my team and I have focused on long-term success planning and talent development. As part of those discussions, Ebenezer Geezer, the West Region president, informed me of his intention to retire at the end of this year.”

Wow, that’s a lot of lead-in before we get to point: Ebenezer Geezer is retiring. I, along with thousands of others in offices and cubicles across the U.S., got this email in the middle of a busy workday. How many actually read to the last sentence of the second paragraph? Did you?

I think the email should have been written more like this:

Organizational Announcement

“West Region President Ebenezer Geezer is planning to retire at the end of this year. We will greatly miss Ebenezer and his talent for cost cutting. My team and I, however, have a plan to make the transition to a new West Region president as smooth as butter. So, no worries, folks! This change won’t affect our profits or, most importantly, your jobs. So, keep working!” Continue reading Writing clearly, saying it simply

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