Business writing can be particularly difficult to get right and far too many people resort to deathly-dull jargon and nonsense buzz words to try to get their point across. In Twenty-six ways of looking at a blackberry, John Simmons proposes that in order to create business communication that is truly engaging, writing needs to be more expressive and adventurous for young, aspiring brands as well as big, corporate brands. The book explores ways that everyone involved with communicating a brand's values - marketers, advertisers, PR people and so on - can focus on the potential of language to reach their goals. To illustrate this, the author has taken a piece of generic business writing - the 'base text' - and rewritten it in 26 different ways, each following a constraint. For example, as a fairy story; without using the letter 'e'; written in the style of Dickens; as a letter to a friend; as a six word story; as a sonnet. In each case, Simmons looks at what effect that particular constraint has on the writing, how it helps or hinders, and what lessons can be drawn from the exercise that can be applied to business writing in different situations.
John Simmons is a consultant and author whose books have been internationally influential. A former director of Newell and Sorrell and Interbrand, he has worked with clients such as Diageo and Unilever to help them create a distinctive tone of voice and to tell their stories better. Now an independent consultant and director of brand language at www.thewriter.co.uk, he writes regularly for the media and runs writing workshops for individuals and businesses. He is a co-founder of 26 (www.26.org.uk), a U.K.-based non-profit collective that champions the cause of better writing in business.