Simplifying technical language at SeaRoc Group
Emphasis helped marine engineering specialists SeaRoc to develop a high-impact style of writing for technical reports and specifications, and for tenders and sales proposals.
Finding the right voice
SeaRoc staff found it challenging to communicate their technical knowledge to a wide audience. ‘We have a range of marine and engineering experts and we felt that we weren’t communicating as effectively as we could,’ explains Peter Hodgetts, SeaRoc’s Chief Executive. ‘Because offshore renewables is a new industry, it is still developing its own language.’
The company didn’t want to dumb down its writing, but it did want to make its communications more readable. It recognised that the academic voice of some associates’ writing wasn’t making its documents as accessible – and effective – as they could be.
Towards planned and structured writing
Emphasis presented techniques for producing high-impact proposals, reports, letters and executive summaries. The course looked at how to write clearly and concisely and showed the team how to plan and structure their work, harnessing technical knowledge in an effective way. Five months later, one-to-one coaching sessions further embedded the new business writing principles into the culture of the company.
Greater audience focus
Since the training, SeaRoc has been writing more succinct reports, using plain English to communicate technical points. By planning their work, staff are able to focus clearly on their messages and audience needs. Learning how to brainstorm has also enabled them to formulate ideas clients are really interested in.
What the attendees said
‘When I write a document, I plan my work thoroughly; I write a specification on who the audience is, what I’m trying to achieve, and what the key messages are,’ says Business Development Manager, Sam Pryor. ‘That’s been the most useful thing for me.’
Focusing on language has also helped. ‘I’m a lot more direct now when writing to clients … and they seem to be more engaged,’ says Geographical Information Systems Manager, Dominic Stratton.
Clients have noticed the difference
SeaRoc’s concise communication is helping to demystify the world of offshore marine works. Eighteen months after calling in Emphasis, the company has noticed knock-on business benefits. ‘The training has raised our standard substantially,’ says Peter. ‘But it’s also given us a common identity for how we write our documents and that’s been recognised by our clients as very valuable.’