10 corporate writing crimes

If you’ve worked in the corporate communications world for very long, you’ve definitely seen, or perhaps committed, these transgressions.

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This article first appeared on PR Daily in June, 2015. Corporate communicators with years in the trenches are all too familiar with seeing writing transgressions every day. Some we commit; some we correct. Here’s a sampling of the worst crimes:

1. Writing for your boss rather than your audience.

In corporate communications, “writing for your audience” often takes a back seat to politics and the whims of executives. Be honest: Is that ad copy for prospects or for your CEO? Is that press release for reporters or for your board of directors?

In a corporate environment, it can be tough to remember that the audience is the “end user” of what you’ve written. Whether it’s a press release, a feature article, or a blog post, begin with your audience in mind.

2. Random capitalization.

Definitive capitalization rules have existed for centuries, so why aren’t they followed in corporate communications? Random capitalization is everywhere. Capitalizing a word when it should not be does not make it more important.

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