In an age of brief social media messaging and text talk, Helen Savage of Brouha Marketing discusses the importance of the written word in the professional arena.

Most companies recognise the importance of promotion or marketing to support the sales function in their business, whether it’s simply having an online presence with a website, or a full communications strategy including press articles, advertising, social media, direct mail and events.

Brouha Marketing is a full-service agency which means we help companies in these areas and more, but we consider the most important aspect to be the written word. In particular, strategic writing that over-arches your entire campaign.

We attach a lot of value to the quality of writing:

I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg, unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae.

Even though you can read what the above paragraph says, would you want it on the homepage of your website? Or in a brochure representing your company? Or even on your Twitter page?

OK, so the odd typo catches us all out sometimes, but too many across all your platforms can look clumsy and unprofessional. Check and double check the material that is representing your business and make sure you’re happy that it’s an accurate reflection of your business. If you pride yourself on care and attention to detail for your customers, show that in your marketing materials. Even in the 140 characters of Twitter – make them count.

As well as the quality of writing, it’s also important to get the content right. Part of this is producing material that is right for the audience. This will be different in a direct mail to your 20 hottest prospects compared with an e-mailed product update to your customers or a published article in a magazine. What are you aiming to achieve? Should it be formal or informal? Should it be detailed or generic? Are you talking to 10 people or 1000s? What you say and how you say it would be different in each instance so ensure you know who your audience is and what you want to achieve before you start.

There are more means of getting your messages to market these days with Facebook and Twitter joining press articles and direct marketing in many communication strategies. But again, whichever method you’re using it’s important to think about your core strategic messages. Good communications, using any channel, always have a reason for being. Do you want to raise your profile, increase sales or change people’s perceptions about you? It’s all possible and communications via all channels can help, but whether you’re talking about a new person joining the company, the fact that sales are on the up or a new piece of machinery you’ve had installed in the factory, clever association with your core business messages can collectively ensure they make a difference.

The most important thing to consider when writing any of your communications is its relevance to your overriding strategy – what ties all the elements of a programme together to hit your commercial objectives. This may sound obvious but there are many companies who view PR and marketing as an add-on: a nice to have, or something to pull out of their armoury when they have a particular story to tell.

But this isn’t how to get the most from your marketing. Good quality, value for money marketing starts with a clear strategy that is filtered into every aspect of a communications programme, whether implemented through direct mail, PR, advertising, e-marketing or social media.