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Writing tip: write like an Axios reporter

Axios write news stories to get “you smarter, faster on what matters”.

It seems obvious to me that accountants and auditors write news stories, too. Email is probably the most frequently-used channel for these “news stories” but board reports, audit findings and many other documents could benefit from the an approach like Smart Brevity™ (Axios’s trademarked method for improving communication in organisations).

By all means you can go to the AxiosHQ website to learn more about Smart Brevity™ or search for Jim VandeHei’s TEDx talk on the subject. You could also just take on board the following rules:

📍 Stop being selfish. (Write for the reader, not for you.)

📍 Grab their attention. (Put the most important thing first so the reader remembers it.)

📍Write like a human. (Use the words you would use talking to a friend, not jargon.)

📍Stay scannable. (Use white space and bullets rather than large blocks of text.)

📍Enough is enough. (Leave out everything you don’t need and write as few words as possible.)

If you check out Axios’s news reports you will see that they have a common structure. Stories start with a summary in a single sentence and a section on why it matters. Many of the paragraphs and bullet points begin with a few key words emphasised in bold type.

It would be pretty easy to create your own templates for reports and emails you write regularly. I’m sure your clients, managers and colleagues would appreciate receiving smarter and briefer communications from you.

Gary Bandy Limited is a company registered in Cardiff, number 5660437.

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