Organizational Communication Resources

Stories of Organizational Communication, Final Post

Geri’s question: Do you have any good resources you can share?

On Writing WellA book that I absolutely recommend is “On Writing Well,” by William Zinsser. It’s a clear, fantastic book that is directed at writers of non-fiction, but is just as easily applicable to email, memo, and report writers.

Of course, there are numerous blogs that you can follow:

  • Communispond is one that I added to my RSS feed a while ago, and have never gotten rid of. They focus on making sales and on presentations. Each of those topics can be applied to Organizational Communication.
  • And I get some business writing pointers from Jonathan Clarke’s Business Writing Solutions – he sends out another eNewsletter.

And finally, every single piece of information that is handed to you is a great resource. How are other people writing? Not just the good writing, the bad writing is GREAT stuff.

An example:
The servicing rights to my home loan were recently transferred. During this process, I received several pieces of communication, one of which provided instructions on how to set up my automatic payments.

This document, sent out to customers, contained errors in the process outline and left out key information.

The errors involved the clicks the customer would make to access the auto payment form. A key piece of information that was left out, in my mind, was the fact that the auto payments were not being processed by the new services, but by Western Union.

Lessons:

  • Challenge your assumptions.
    The creator of the job aid may have assumed that all ACH payments go through a third party services like Western Union. However, my loan had originated with an institution that made it look as though we were making my payments directly to them.I needed to know not only that I would be taken to a third party site, but that there would be no fee for processing these ACH payments. (Western Union can charge between $8 and $15 for processing same-day transactions-we were concerned a similar payment would be assessed for the ACH).
  • Read your message aloud.
    In this instance, the creator of the job aid needed to go a step further. if you’re communicating a process, it’s not enough to read the document aloud. You have to step through the process while you”re reading it.

A final thought about resources:
Outlook is a great resource, but in a different way. Let’s say you take all this to heart, there’s still a possibility that you’ll remember something important you should have included in your message after you’ve sent it out. For email, there may be a way to help in the form of a rule – Outlook allows you to delay the sending of your email message after you hit send. For example, I’ve set up a rule that delays the sending of all outgoing email messages by 2 minutes. This has saved me many times from trying to recall a message (which really hasn’t worked for me), or sending follow-up emails explaining myself.


This is the last of a series of posts inspired by question prompts from Geri Girardin, the instructor of DHTV’s Organizational Communication course. Other posts in the series were:

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