Writing to Win Business
A lot of the subjects that were addressed in the reading were also talked about in the Pro-Practice class that I took last year. We talked about the importance of cover letters and practices writing some of them. Travis also touched on how important hand written letters are for follow ups and having unique Thank-you cards for when someone meets with you. We had someone come in from the Business Center and talked to us about how 20% of your time should be used working on your business development, as they mentioned in the reading. When completing my internship with Barber-Spangle Design, they talked to me often about how important it was to have everything in writing in a contract, and how you may need to add or change things about the contract based on the client and the project.The reading also talked about a lot of stuff that I wasn't aware of and found really interesting. For example, I didn't know that the salutation should be followed by a colon, unless it is a thank you note. I also wasn't aware that "CC" used to stand for "Carbon Copies" back in the old days with typewriters and that it has changed to mean " Courtesy Copies" now. The story about how "P.S." or "postscript" originated from the times when they used fancy parchment and quill pens and they wrote in Latin, very slowly so they didn't want to mark out words or write in the margins was also very interesting. I found it interesting to learn that a certain percentage of government work must go to a business that is owned by a minority or a woman. I think that would help small businesses that might not get any work, to get some work to help build their portfolio.
Some things that the reading talked about will definitely help me in my professional goals. The article talked about the importance of writing simply, instead of adding flowery words because it is straight and to the point. I also think that it would help a person to skim, which they are likely to do. Also using the project or company name in the documents will help it to seem like it was written specifically for them. The table of "Complimentary Closings" on page 178 I find to be very helpful because it lists different ways that you can end a letter or other kind of document based on how formal it is. I like the idea of including what you have enclosed by writing it clearly. I hadn't thought about looking or posting a listing in the newspaper to help find new clients because many people believe that no one reads the newspapers, but that is far from the truth. The outline of the elements of a prospective letter really helped me to write my cover letter because it explains exactly what should go in each paragraph. I liked that the reading included some different ways to bill the client because its good to know that you have options. I was unaware that we are able to include letters of recommendation or other supporting information such as CD's to improve our chances of getting the job.
Eakins, P. (2005). Writing for interior design. (1st ed., pp. 172-215). Fairchild Books.