FT Essential Guide to Business Writing: How to Write to Engage, Persuade and Sell Paperback – 1 Nov 2011
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From the Back Cover
Its a fascinating subject and a fascinating book. Without doubt, its one of the best guides on business writing available today, expertly written and with clear, understandable guidance throughout. It will supercharge your writing and fast-track your business success.
Kate Allen, Head of UK & Ireland Marketing, BP Castrol
Every serious business professional should have a copy of this book; its an absolute godsend. One of the three business books I always have on my desk to refer to, its worth its weight in gold. In fact its worth its weight in saffron.
Sheridan Thompson, CRM Director, The Walt Disney Company
I loved this book. So many important business decisions are still made - and swayed - by writing. So if you can harness style, structure, substance and the psychology of persuasion in your writing, you've got a powerful business advantage.
James O'Keefe, Head of Communications Planning, Lloyds Banking Group
YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO BUSINESS WRITING
The Financial Times Essential Guide to Business Writing gives you the critical knowledge you need to make your writing more convincing, compelling and persuasive. It will also help you develop your writing skills for the future by showing you how to coach yourself so you can consistently improve your performance.
This concise, practical guide shows you exactly how to produce writing that has both style and substance, which captures your readers attention, and presents an irresistible call to action. If you follow its guidance, your writing will sizzle off the page and get you the results you want.
FT ESSENTIAL GUIDES: THE KNOW-HOW YOU NEED TO GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT
About the Author
is a multi award-winning creative director at one of the UKs biggest agency groups. Hes written copy in every major medium and for some of the best-known brands in their sectors including Avis, Barclays, Dyson, Macmillan, National Geographic, Oxfam, Sky and Zurich. Hes also written, edited or critiqued hundreds of business proposals, plans, presentations, pitch documents and marketing materials. Ian has a degree in psychology.
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Top customer reviews
At 176 pages it's incredibly easy to read and very engaging. The sections on context (audience and medium) and concept (bringing your story to life) were really useful to me but the whole book featured so many nuggets that have helped my writing come on leaps and bounds.
I've now started to re-read it for the fourth time and in 2016 it's just as relevant as it was when it was first released.
As someone who has been in the business for over 10 years, regularly interacting with senior executives, I will not recommend this book to anyone who wants to work in the corporate world. This may be useful for someone in the creative marketing/advertising space but this book is certainly not appropriate for corporate business writing (in my view!).
To give an example, I am, sometimes, the audience for those propositions and memos directed at me to take action, approve or promote and so on. The book's language did not convince but instead annoyed me sufficiently that I made an effort to write a review. So, the author (master of the art!) has been unable to "persuade and engage" his main target audience in this instance. The book does not reflect the reality of the corporate world. Good luck in trying to write this way and getting ripped apart by the senior management!
I found it very weak on content, generalisations and out-of-touch of the reality of businesses. Most business executives expect the high-quality content with succinct and precise explanations to be able to make well-considered business decisions. This form does not leave much scope for generalisations and hyperboles. The writer needs to come across as confident and engaging but also balanced. This form of writing is different to the form of writing found in adverts and promos where businesses are trying to grab the attention of mass consumers. For me, business writing means the first form of writing, whereas it seems the book has been written from the point of view of the latter.
The book had some useful information nuggets for me but I am overall disappointed. There are much better books out there to help with business writing.
Sections on audience and medium, `how to craft that draft' and `how to be irresistibly persuasive' were highlights for me. But in truth the whole book is impressive - it's an easy read without being lightweight and it sizzles along with stories and advice that stay with you. I know many people at my company whose writing would benefit from this book's learnings and I'll be quoting passages of it to them 'til they get the message!
One last thing: there are dozens of `essential examples' and `essential tips' flagged in shaded boxes throughout. This breaks up the main text really well and you can pick up quite a few ideas just by dipping into the book and browsing through them. Reading this one has encouraged me to buy others in the FT series - I just hope they're as good.
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