Communications Specialist and Principal of Clarity Communications Richard Thomas has highlighted the importance of corporate writers, describing them as among the “most valuable” employees within a corporation.
Thomas spoke about the topic How to Write Like a Pro at the Barbados Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)’s final professional development workshop for 2022. The two-hour workshop took place on Thursday, October 27, at Bagnall’s Point Gallery in Pelican Centre, Princess Alice Highway.
During his address, the award-winning editor and writer noted it is the job of corporate writers to be advocates for their companies, and connect businesses with the right audiences and stakeholders in a meaningful way.
“Our mission is to produce clear, concise, easy-to-read, and easy-to-speak material. It’s got to establish credibility and build trust. I say here that credibility is our currency; credibility is the currency of what we do. If you don’t understand that, you will be blown around like a plastic bag on a highway because this is going to define how you approach what you do in terms of your own ethics and integrity,” Thomas said.
Thomas offered the participants multiple tips about how to write to best influence their audiences, including using simple words, an active voice, and proper punctuation. He added paraphrasing and using short sentences and paragraphs should also be prominent in their writing.
The veteran communications specialist further urged participants to develop a “musician’s ear for tone.” The published author maintained, “There’s nothing worse than saying the wrong thing, except saying the right thing the wrong way. You have to protect the company’s reputation and maintain the audience’s respect.”
Addressing the workshop earlier, President of IABC Barbados Dr. Pamala Proverbs noted writing is a core competency for communicators. She said participants would benefit tremendously from the workshop, indicating Thomas is one of the best craftsmen in the business in terms of writing and understanding corporate communications.
Meanwhile, the president also offered some background about IABC Barbados and highlighted the importance of the profession having a body that can advocate on its behalf as well as provide professional development training. Because it was the first in-person activity of IABC Barbados for the year, she also took the opportunity to introduce the Executive for 2021–2022 and present them with their IABC pins.
In addition to the president, the IABC Barbados’ Executive comprises VP Finance Alicia Bascombe, VP Professional Development Fay Cooke-Nurse, VP Marketing & Communications Christal P. Austin, VP Membership Javier Reid, and Senior Delegate/Immediate Past President Carol Walcott.