eTips Mid-Month MiniTM

July 2006

Welcome to the eTips Mid-Month Mini, an UpWrite Press extra
designed to get you actively involved with writing.

| Business Writers' Forum | Word Pair of the Month |
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Responses to July Forum Question:

Where does the writing "buck" stop
in your office?

Thank you to everyone who replied to our July eTips forum question: Where does the writing "buck" stop in your office? The following are two
of those responses.

From Brenda Stefanowski, Weekenders USA, Inc., Vernon Hills, IL:

Communicating with an outside sales force of 10,000+ via print or Internet ensures any grammatical, mathematical, or spelling error is found faster than any "3 pairs" of eyes could!

Our company routinely reviews each communication or print piece for approval by a group of selected staff. The communiqué creator routes each piece to the appropriate departments based on the content. For example, a special order form for a new product is reviewed by . . .  

  1. the department requesting the form;
  2. the accounting department, which tracks the costs, sales, tax, and shipping numbers;
  3. the customer service department, which interprets and answers questions;
  4. the IT department, which creates the SKU and sets the product up in the ordering/tracking system;
  5. the distribution department, which manages inventory and ships the product;
  6. the sales department, which promotes the product;
  7. a trained proofreader; and
  8. someone not directly involved with the project, who confirms the clarity of the message.

The use of a group process, a professional proofreader, and someone not directly involved has improved the "face" of the company. Even with these measures in place,
perfection is still a destination not yet reached.

Brenda Stefanowski, CPS/CAP
Executive Assistant
Weekenders USA, Inc.

From Rosalind A. Hebert, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX:

Many documents go out of our office daily to elected officials, local governments, state and federal agencies, consultants, businesses, and the general public. These documents may include business correspondence, newsletters, proposals, news releases, and meeting agendas--just to name a few.

All of these documents are usually read, edited, and proofed by at least one and as many as six other persons.

In the case of newsletters, for instance, many staff persons contribute one or more articles, which are then compiled into a draft newsletter by the publishing staff. The first draft is then distributed to supervisors, department managers, and public-involvement staff for a more thorough check of content clarity, spelling, punctuation, and consistency. Edits from these reviews are incorporated into a second draft, which is then sent back to the department manager for a last review prior to publication. Then and only then is the newsletter sent to the printer.

With the exception of business correspondence, most of these documents are also posted on our agency Website, so all documents have to be readable, accurate, and easy to understand.

These examples best represent our efforts as a public service agency to create the "perfect piece."

Rosalind A. Hebert, CPS/CAP
Public Information Planner
Houston-Galveston Area Council
Transportation Department

Watch for another Writers’ Forum question in our August eTips.

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WORD PAIR of the MONTH: Consequently, Subsequently

Two words that are frequently confused are consequently and subsequently. Use the following guide to keep them straight and use them properly.

Consequently means "as a result of." It shows a cause-and-effect relationship.

Our morning flight was delayed by storms. Consequently, we missed our
afternoon flight.

Subsequently, on the other hand, means simply "following closely in time or order." The first event does not cause the second.

I had just exited the office and locked the door. Subsequently, I heard the
telephone ring inside.

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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2006, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit