Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Posted Jan. 16, 2018 If you’ve taken a writing course, you know that good writing involves many different skills and principles that must be learned, practiced, and exercised. Taken a step further, really good writing will even incorporate an understanding of human psychology. In fact, aspects of human psychology can profoundly impact how your readers receive and react to your writing. Here are ...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Posted Jan. 3, 2018 In the scientific, business, and technical writing courses we teach, we begin with a critical thinking exercise that asks participants to make decisions based on a limited set of parameters. That practice helps participants begin to understand that writing is problem-solving. That is, every writing task is a puzzle that the writer must piece together. Many would-be writers get...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Posted Dec. 16, 2017 The ability to think logically does not necessarily translate into an ability to write effectively. In fact, many excellent thinkers – people who otherwise excel in their technical field of expertise – can easily and inadvertently fall into common writing traps when they try to work logical thought and arguments into their written pieces. Here are two such writing mistakes. ...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Posted Dec. 5, 2017 In our day-to-day work, we can forget that customers and clients don’t necessarily see what we do. In other words, they can’t come and sit with you while you work.   This fact is particularly salient in technical and technological fields, where an engineer or developer might know her technical product or service backward and forward. If a customer were to sit down with you or ...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Dec. 4, 2017 If the bears from “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” wrote technical or engineering documents, Goldilocks would be on the search for just the right amount of content, neither too little nor too much. But how do you strike the right balance?   Sometimes we write too little: “Thx,” we say in response to a job well-done, the brevity of the “thanks” message undermining its impact.   Other ...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Sometimes we use the written word to shield ourselves from uncomfortable conversations.   The classic example is the “Dear John” letter, or a written message from a romantic partner ending a relationship, but these kinds of messages arise in business scenarios as well. For example, we may need to sever a professional relationship, criticize a subordinate’s performance, or oth...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Some words and phrases are used so often that they lose meaning.   We don’t mean the psychological condition of semantic satiation, where you hear a word so much it temporarily turns into a meaningless series of sounds. Nor do we mean phrases that are commonly used incorrectly, like saying “literally” when you mean “figuratively,” or “I could care less” when you mean “I could not care less.” Neith...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • What do you want to make happen with your writing?   Whether we’re talking about an email, sales materials, internal reports, training materials, or anything else, you must always ask yourself: what do you want the reader(s) to do after they’ve read the material?   All too often, writers fail to think about what they're trying to accomplish. Lack of clarity on this point increases the risk that yo...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Robert’s frustration had been mounting for weeks. One of his work tasks depended on timely receipt of information from a coworker, Cliff, who was routinely late with the data.   Finally, Robert fired off an email: “Cliff, I can’t do my job when you are so slow in preparing the weekly report.”   Robert had read through it a couple of times before hitting send, and the statement seemed matter-of-fac...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Every corporate executive has two public voices: institutional and personal. Each has its own time and place. The question is how does a corporate communicator consider when to use each voice?     What’s the difference between the two?  "An institutional voice speaks for the company in its financial, legal, strategic, and other official matters. A personal voice reveals character and lead...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • The writing you put out to your users and customers can profoundly affect their experience of your organization, with tangible impacts to metrics like revenue. Analysts at research and advisory firm Forrester even say that organizations can “predict the revenue associated with a brand’s customer experience improving.”   But what role do writing and communications play in this equation?   A b...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • As projects, products, and organizations get larger and more complex, associated writing tasks – from technical manuals to sales presentations – get more difficult as well. More product SKUs, for example, require more product descriptions. More services mean additional sales copy and technical documentation. So, how do you handle a growing list of writing needs without having to hire or spend more...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Details, specifics, and granularity can take otherwise generic writing and instantly make it shine.   Let’s clarify what we mean by “specificity.” Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab provides the following examples of generic versus specific writing:   General term More specific term Very specific term Young students Middle school students Students 12 to 15 ...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  •   Artificial intelligence (AI) in copywriting shows promise, but it also presents perils to organizations that don’t understand its limitations.   Although writers live in fear of the day that robots will take over their jobs (much like everyone else: McKinsey and Company estimates that about 30% of the activities in 60% of all occupations could be automated), businesses themselves are probably co...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • People usually don’t expect to do things perfectly the first time. That’s why we invest in lessons for everything from violin to dance to cake-decorating to golf. We know we have to practice, whether that means going to the batting cage three times a week or rehearsing a sales presentation over and over. Writing is no different. It is a skill that can be mastered with practice. If you struggle w...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • How can a corporate communications manager prepare for what may or may never happen?  The possibilities are unbounded, yet a manager has a duty to anticipate the unexpected and be as prepared as possible. This column looks at some ways corporate communications execs tune-in to the future.   This column is spurred by a conference where veteran corporate communications managers will share how they h...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • Popular expectations for “good” writing by scientists tend to be clear-cut and limited to the expository. I learned this the hard way, via my very first research report.  My florid analysis returned to me deeply lined in red, topped off with a tart admonition from my mentor against “gilding the lily.”   Stick to facts, I learned.  Support conclusions with data and weigh the words in your conclusi...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • With industry mega-deals and micro-analysis of cents-per-share in the limelight from boardrooms to cubicles, the impact of human relations on business can be underestimated. "Soft stuff" some people call it.   Yet, research shows that intangibles such as effective communications, goodwill, and relationships account for half of companies' financial measure. Hard numbers come to life through custome...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • For most professionals, writing is a primary part of their job, even though it’s a painful task for many. The good news is that spending more time planning will enable you to streamline the writing process and will result in more effective documents.   While planning may seem like an extra step in the process, it’s necessary to help you streamline the writing process and write more cogent, targete...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
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  • Wasted Effort on Editing

    Supervisors and others whose job is not to edit their staff's work end up doing so anyway, which can be a waste of time. To ensure that your team can write more effectively, they need strategies. And that's what a Hurley Write course offers.

  • Readability Studies Help Writers Plan, Write and Revise More Effectively

    When writers understand how readers read, it's easier for them to plan, write, and revise. That's why we teach participants research-based strategies on readability to help them plan, write, and revise more effectively and efficiently.

  • Writing as Problem-Solving

    Writing and problem-solving use the same skill set. Applying problem-solving skills to writing can help writers plan and write more cogent, targeted documents.

  • The ROI of Writing Training

    Companies often don't realize how much they can save in time and resources when their staff has the proper training to plan, write, and revise effectively and efficiently.

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post
  • “How many of you enjoy writing and write daily?”   Our eyes pan across the room. Not a single hand is raised. Not one.   This scene plays out again and again during our writing training classes for scientists and engineers. Yet if you’re a scientist or engineer, chances are you actually spend a tremendous amount of time writing. Researchers find that many engineers spend more than 40% of their wo...

Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc.
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • 5 Talent-Related Consequences of Poor Writing for Organizations

    How much does poor writing cost? A lot. Well-known writing expert Josh Bernoff has quantified the cost of poor writing for US businesses at $396 billion. Yes, billion.   To be frank, however, the cost of poor writing may not be quantifiable to that level of precision. As Bernoff notes, “Poor writing creates a drag on everything you do”; some of the drags—consequences—are both very real and impossi...

  • How Poor Writing is a Triple-Revenue Killer

    In a new white paper available for direct download, “The Consequences of Poor Writing,” we discuss six ways that poor writing can hurt your business. As the white paper details, poor writing Costs sales and business Costs time Can damage morale and undermine respect in the workplace Can hurt your organization’s brand Can be dangerous Means lost ideas   Let’s t...

  • Communication Shipwrecks: Part 2

    4 Communication Shipwrecks, and What Your Company Can Learn From Them   Communication shipwrecks are communication disasters. They can result in embarrassment for a company’s brand, loss of customers, upset employees—even injuries and deaths. And they’re actually fairly common, even for high-profile people and companies.   In the articles “Communication Shipwrecks: Part One” and “Communication Shi...

  • 4 Ways That Poor Communication Can Be Costly For Your Business

    4 Ways That Poor Communication Can Be Costly For Your Business   Research cited by SHRM reveals that for companies with 100,000 employees, the average annual cost of inadequate communication is $62.4 million. For companies with 100 employees, the cost is calculated at $420,000 per year.   Those are staggering numbers and may even be understated; it’s probably impossible to account for every cost o...

  • Consider Work Instructions for Consistent Outcomes

    In our last blog, we covered the importance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in maintaining quality, protecting the public and employees, and meeting compliance and security regulation demands. SOPs are vital documents that lay out the who, what, when, and where for important procedures in your industry or organization. But what about the “how” in that equation? That’s where work instru...

  • Understand the Case for Standard Operating Procedures

    Deadly fires. Massive oil spills. Although technical or mechanical failures might play parts in such disasters and many others like them, another problem shares culpability: misused or poorly constructed standard operating procedures (SOPs). SOPs are integral parts of quality control and risk reduction. From aerospace manufacturing to pharmaceutical production and customer service practices,...

  • Something’s “Wrong” with the Top 12 Employee Learning Content Areas

    When we recently read an ERC article on rising trends in employee training and development, we couldn’t help but think that something was “wrong” about this ranking of learning content by content area in the Association for Talent Development’s State of the Industry Report: Managerial and Supervisory 13.0% Profession or Industry Specific 10.6% Mandatory and Compliance 10.3% ...

  • Does Writing Training Work?

    US organizations with 100 or more employees spend more than $70 billion per year on training, according to Training magazine’s 2016 Training Industry Report. Yet industry analysts find that many organizations waste that money on training that is ineffective or doesn’t stick.   Is the same true of writing training? After all, isn’t it more likely to be ineffective than other training because people...

  • 10 Best Writing Tips for 2017

    Our favorite business writing tips for 2017 are all about achieving one goal: reaching readers more effectively. Reaching readers more effectively—getting them to consume, understand, and be persuaded by our content—is how we as writers achieve what we want.   Two factors make reaching readers more challenging today: Readers face an ongoing, ever-increasing barrage of written conten...

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