In the business world, crafting the right message between the lines is critical. Presenting information in the wrong way will set customers on edge, and potential supporters running away. Done the right way, however; it delivers a feeling of trust and mutual understanding.
I discovered the power of writing from my college Public Relations professor. I wrote a press release about a new bank security policy that would effect customers' ATM cards. I provided the necessary information that the customer would need to know. But it wasn't until I prepared to rewrite the message for the fifth time that I discovered the real message that I had been writing; one of fear and demand.
"Beginning on March 12, all ATM cards for an account must have the same PIN number. You will need to come in and update your PINs with one of our bank representatives. After that date, any cards that have not been updated will not be able to access your account. This policy change is to increase the security of your account."
The unwritten message is, "We are making things inconvenient, and you will no longer be able to access your money!" That is not what I want to hear from my bank. I quickly reorganized the details so that it would present a more appealing message.
"In order to increase the security of your account, we are making a change to our ATM card PIN policy. Please stop by your local branch where one of our bank representatives will help you update the PIN for your ATM cards. Making sure that the PIN of all cards are the same before March 12 will ensure that there is no interruption to your account access."
No new information is provided, but the unwritten message is now, "We want to keep your money safe, and are making it easy and convenient for it to happen."