Like many scientists and engineers, some business people have a reputation for lacking… let’s say, a certain flair for writing. And while shareholders won’t expect you to churn out inspirational sonnets counting all the ways you love the Chinese Stock Market (we hope), improving your writing skills can only improve your investor relations services, too.
And there’s one simple trick for clear and effective written communication, a trick that most people get exactly wrong. The best writers follow a simple rule: they use exactly the words they need, no more, no less. In fact, studies show that overly long corporate communications often have a correlative relationship to falling stock prices.
Not only does using too many words create ugly, unreadable reports, but it also has a dangerous unintended consequence. People who stuff their writing with extra clauses, modifiers, fluff, and flim flam, only inspire suspicion in their readers, as if all those extra words are only there to obscure the truth. At best, you’ll simply bore your audience to tears. At worst, they’ll start to wonder if you’re hiding something underneath all that flowery language, negatively impacting your shareholder relations.
So remember: longer doesn’t mean better. When crafting press releases, memos, and engaging in financial public relations, always be straight and to the point. And in times of crisis, it’s more important than ever not to obfuscate with long-winded explanations and diversions. Say exactly what you mean to say, as concisely as possible.
The best investor relations services know this, while the worst actors in shareholder communications could write a novel about every twitch of the stock market. And while hiring investor relations firms to handle the public relations heavy lifting, learning how to write straightforward corporate communications is a valuable tool to keep in your toolkit.
The best financial writers know how to strike a delicate balance, writing about a complex subject matter in a knowledgeable way, while not speaking in total gibberish to those without a Ph.D in economics. Like a pretentious snob who uses five-dollar-words just to show off, don’t think of your writing as a chance to impress people with your superior knowledge.
Simply find the simplest way to explain exactly what you mean, and then say it in as few words as possible. After all, when it comes to investor relations services, your goal should be clear, honest communication with your shareholders.