Business Writing I Can’t Show You

In addition to the business writing that I usually do (such as brochures and website copy), there are some kinds of confi­dential writing assignments that I can’t show you on this site. However, I can describe them in general terms.

Letters

Most executives write their own business letters, or perhaps have an TThere are times when a letter is so important (or so confidential) that it should be professionally written.assistant or staff writer create them. But there are times when a letter is so important that it should be professionally written, or so confidential that nobody on staff can work on it. In situations like these, I’m called in to help. Of course, the final version will be printed out by the client onto their own stationery, and sent with the exec’s signature on it. In some cases, it’s not even necessary for me to know who the actual recipient will be. My name is never connected to the letter, and I never show it or specifically identify it on this website or anywhere else.

An executive or professional who hires me to write a letter can be confident that:

There are advantages and disadvantages to using a freelancer to write a business letter. Disadvantages include increased administrative overhead (discussion of price, a short written agreement, getting & paying a bill), and the need to spend more time explaining the situation than might be necessary with a staff person. (Sometimes, the client writes an outline of the main points to be covered before ever calling me, which shortens the time required for explanations.) Advantages of going outside for a letter may include: not derailing staff members from their ongoing projects; the potential for greater speed, confidentiality, and general writing quality; and, in many cases, greater clarity in the content of the letter.

Why greater clarity? When someone inside your company writes a letter (or technical description, or marketing copy) aimed at someone outside your company, your staff member may unconsciously assume background knowledge that the recipient does not in fact have, or attitudes that they don’t necessarily share.

Hiring a good outside writer like myself can avoid this problem: AAn outside writer should be able to look at a situation the way an outside reader would.when you explain the situation to me, you are in effect pre-testing your description. If I don’t understand it, then the intended recipient may not either. In fact, a key part of the service I provide is simply to think about and question the raw materials you give me. (The “raw materials” may be as little as a phone conversation, or any of the following: previous attempts or drafts, written notes, existing company literature, or perhaps a meeting.)

Although a client may do whatever they like with the letter I write, and sometimes use it in exactly the form I provide, they may also change it before putting their signature on it. The client is free to revise and “put it in their own voice” although if the letter is going to total strangers, this may be unnecessary.

Speeches

Writing a speech for a client is different in a few ways from writing a letter:

Tests

I’ve written many tests over the years. They include:

Creating a test for a client isn’t typically confidential in the sense of keeping my participation secret, but the contents of the test must be strictly confidential, for obvious reasons. You can be confident that I’ll never leak or resell any test or test components that I’ve written for you and that the only assignments I accept in the first place are in areas where I’m technically competent.

You can read more about some of the technical tests I’ve written in the Tech Writing page.