How many times have you heard people bemoan the fact that the art of having a conversation is long dead? And that letter writing is a thing of the past?

It might be a regular refrain from those old enough to remember what a pen was used for. Or the times when mobile phones weren?t surgically attached to the young. But don?t make the mistake of thinking it?s only old fogies who think that way.

If someone?s dealing with a professional they expect them to behave like one. Whatever age they are. It?s all a question of the right time and place. And knowing when it is.

Take those mobile phones for instance. There can?t be much doubt that they?ve made our lives a lot easier. And safer. Certain shorthand is a familiar part of it. The problem is that for many it doesn?t stop there.

Amongst friends it won?t matter. In most other situations that kind of language isn?t acceptable, especially when dealing with authority or the general public. Can you imagine the outcry, to say nothing of the widespread confusion, if the news was read out in text speak?

The same goes for copy. Unless you?re particularly aiming at that market, people expect to see normal language they can understand. Written in a way that doesn?t leave them scratching their heads in bewilderment.

You?re not their mate. You?re supposed to be a professional. How else can customers know you?re serious? But of course that doesn?t mean you can?t be friendly.

In fact it?s better all round if you are. But there?s a big difference between being amiable and being annoyingly over familiar. Or just plain slapdash. Which leads nicely on to the question of presentation.

If you haven?t bothered to put much effort into that aspect of your copy it will be glaringly obvious. Which leads inevitably to the conclusion your business will be run the same way.

It might not be the case but that?s the impression you?ll give. Something you can?t afford to do given the amount of competition you?re likely to have in the marketplace.

If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, act like it. And make sure your copy reflects that.

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