Many companies consider writing about their work to be secondary to performing their day-to-day scientific or technical work. In reality, written collateral is often the product you will present to the world — and can make the difference between success and failure.
In nearly every scientific and technical field, writing is the critical link to sales, funding, and continued work.
Environmental engineers and scientists spend weeks or months collecting data in the field, but the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, or other regulatory agencies — and the public — form opinions based in large part on the resulting reports and Environmental Impact Statements.
Scientists may spend their lives in research, but to enter that work into the canon and secure funding, they must produce research papers, journal articles, and R&D proposals.
Pharmaceutical researchers spend years conducting clinical trials to verify a drug's effectiveness. But Food and Drug Administration approval often relies on their ability to clearly communicate findings in writing.
Aside from approval, written instructions and details are vital for successful recreation of trials or experiments, verification of findings, and so on.
It all adds up to one important fact about professional business writing: Writing is your product, even when writing isn't your full-time job.
Businesses pay a lot of attention to continuous improvement of processes, from manufacturing to safety to data collection. Equal emphasis on the writing process is vital to ensure the success of the business.
Publications are often the only points of contact that customers or agencies have with your company. If your written collateral doesn't correctly or convincingly depict the processes, standards, and results of a project, then you could lose funding, contracts, product approval, or public goodwill.
Reputations — of the company and individual employees — are on the line every time a report is submitted. Good writing builds credibility in your client base.
You can foster continuous improvement in your company's writing processes by giving writers the tools and resources they need to grow. Companies with sensitive or proprietary intellectual property can benefit from an onsite training program that provides private, customized instruction where and when needed.