For most people, writing is how they communicate their thoughts and feelings in a way that is unique to themselves. And, just as there are many accents that color speech, there are many writing styles that can be used to describe how a person writes.
“Flowery” writing generally overflows with plenty of descriptive words, often using complicated words to sound sophisticated and grand.
The opposite for “flowery”, “punchy” writing is clear and simple with few descriptive words.
“Circuitous” writing takes a long time to reach a point.
A writing style that puts the most important points at the beginning, “journalistic” writing continues with the rest of the work in a descending order of importance.
There are plenty of other words used to describe types of writing: poetic, lyrical, verbose, crisp, chatty, succinct and rhetorical are all other words to describe writing styles. Usually, people write in the same manner for everything they write—they generally don’t switch between flowery and succinct, even if different needs might require different styles.
THE STYLE FOR YOUR NEEDS
Businesses constantly use the written word to communicate with everyone—customers, clients, employees, vendors and, really, anyone that comes in contact with that business. Think about all the ways a business communicates through the written word:
Brochures and Fliers
These usually offer longer explanations about what a business is and what it does, and can afford a fuller style because readers generally have more time to digest what they are reading.
Generally “Less is more” is a great philosophy when writing copy for print ads as you only have a moment to grab a consumers attention, so be succinct.
For the best chance to be used, news releases need to be writing journalistically—get to the point first—so news organizations know what is most important and is really news.
How an internal communication is written helps set the tone for the news you want to convey—a punchy writing style doesn’t work for a big win, just as flowery or lyrical writing isn’t meant to communicate something negative, like a layoff or down profits.
Good writing doesn’t fit into a “one-size-fits-all” box. To be most effective, your writing needs to align with the form of communication you are using and what information you want to get across. Skilled writers tailor the writing to fit the message and the delivery vehicle.
THE STYLE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Many businesses strive for “a voice”, or a particular style that of writing that they can claim as their own. It’s a difficult goal to achieve while still writing to your message and delivery vehicle.
My advice is to focus more on your audience and change your writing style to fit the message. It’s more important to nail the style and tone of the message than to force a particular style on a message to maintain “a voice”.
Working with skilled writers will make your message more effective in getting your point across, and ultimately, make your message more impactful.