What’s Lost in Translation

As a professional writer, I pride myself on conveying just the right message through the written word. When I’m producing online search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting for a new website design, I give careful thought to combining relevant keywords with intelligent marketing copy. When I’m developing brochure copywriting for a new print design, I funnel my ideas and themes down to a cohesive message that is both engaging and memorable. BUT, it is when I’m assuming my project coordination roles that I sometimes struggle to ensure that every email correspondences is clearly worded to avoid any and all confusion.

Today’s business men and women are often overloaded, busy, and stressed… especially in the current economy. They – and I – rely on email to communicate ideas, facilitate a project’s progress, and inform others of new changes about to take place. And occasionally, to break up the monotony, someone will send a humorous email that leaves you laughing out loud, and others staring and wondering what was so darn funny. What’s interesting to me is how even after taking the time to write a well thoughtout email, someone can misunderstand or misperceive the information being conveyed. I can read an email and think that someone is upset, and when I talk to them on the phone, come to find out that they are not upset at all, and in fact, very pleased with everything.

I’m often baffled by the misconceptions that a simple email can spawn. Nonetheless, I will continue to be clear and direct in my correspondances because before phones, letters were all we had to communicate with people miles away. Although now our “letters” are sent through the magic of the Internet as opposed to a messenger on horse, clarity is of equal importance.