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Lesson 2. Start with a Purpose in Mind > Advance Your Objectives - Pg. 7

Start with a Purpose in Mind · What are the risks associated with your readers' taking action? 7 Be sure to keep your audience's perspective in mind and attempt to address their concerns as you write your document. Through the course of the book, we'll discuss in detail ways to structure your document to best address your audience's concerns. The first step, however, is to recognize that those concerns exist and to know what they are. Advance Your Objectives Part of writing with a purpose is to view every business document as an opportunity to advance your business objectives. This is most obviously true for documents in which you're recommending a specific proposal or a change in how your business is operated. However, you can use even seem- ingly routine documents such as meeting summaries or monthly progress reports as vehicles for framing the thinking on important business issues, and laying the groundwork for later recommen- dations. For example, suppose you're the division sales manager for your company, and you've recently begun testing a new order-tracking system that you believe will provide better customer service. Following are segments from two potential monthly progress reports. Note how the second memo, while still summarizing the monthly sales events, clearly lays a foundation for later recommending full-scale implementation of the new order-tracking system. Tip Recognize that any written communication gives you the opportunity to lead others' thinking.