Your true meaning in English
You send information about yourselves to international markets. But are your English communications making an impression? Expert English business writer Mike Druttman offers five useful suggestions.
It’s not always easy to express what you’re thinking, especially in another language. Doing this in a short space or time period is also challenging. If marketing messages are to be strong,they needs need to be carefully planned and arranged. This is the work of people who specialize on the English communications side of marketing.
So how can you send the right messages?
1) Focus on the reader’s interest – The way that information is presented is important. Instead of saying “We have a wide product range” why not say “You benefit from products that suit every need and pocket”. The ‘you’ approach is better than the ‘we’ approach.
2) Use the language well – English should be used with skill. It’s not enough just to be fluent. You should use the power of the language to shape ideas and concepts in a clear way.
3) Keep the messages short – Look for sentences that have simpler and shorter messages. Here’s an example: “Because a great many of the words in this sentence are basically unnecessary, it would really be a very good idea to edit them” (24). Is it clear? No.
Cut the text down like this:”Because many words in this sentence are unnecessary, we should edit them” (12). The meaning is still there.
4) Offer facts and benefits – General claims are easily dismissed. To make them memorable you should add facts and benefits. The statement: “We are leaders in our field” can be claimed by anyone. Be more specific: “In the XYZ field, we’ve achieved a 20% growth in sales over the past two years.” Be clearer in your English communications and you also gain better results.
5) Invest in presentation – Good headlines, subheadings, short paragraphs and good information flow all work together to create a pleasant and memorable reading experience. Another point is to avoid repetition. By presenting your information well, you can gain many advantages.
Like arranging flowers
When you write about your product or service, you are creating a certain order of information – a harmony of message. Japanese people understand this because they are also artists in flower arrangements. Consider each text block as a flower and place it where it will be noticed the best. You see – writing texts is not so different!
Mike Druttman is a member of the Israel-Japan Chamber of Commerce. An English language business writer and copywriter, he is helping Japanese companies to communicate better with international audiences. His site is www.keyzuna.com