How To Write a Press Release

Most people think that writing a press release is very difficult - but intact you can do it in 6 easy steps:

Communicate the 5 W's and the H. Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  1. What is the actual news?
  2. Why this is news.
  3. The people, products, items, dates and other things related with the news.
  4. The purpose behind the news.
  5. Your company, city, state
  6. Any quotes/testimonials
Its very important that the press release is written in 3rd person journalistic style.

Of course the best way to have a Press Release written is to engage the services of a professional, native English writer. provides high quality
English Language Press Release Writing, Copywriting and Editing services in Hong Kong

10 Tips for Writing Effective Business Emails

by Ian Nock

Email communication has a pivotal role in business communication. The following tips will help you to make your email communication efficient and effective.

1. A Meaningful subject line
People receive a huge number of emails are present in the mailboxes every day. To get your email noticed among them, it is important to give your email a subject line that grabs the attention of the receiver. The subject should also associate closely to the content of the email. When replying remember to change the subject line rather than just let the mail program add “Re:” at the front.

2. Cue it right
It is important to send the mail to the right recipients. No one wants to receive emails in their inbox that really do not concern them. You should use the cc and bcc options only where it is important. Moreover, emails should have a personalised touch to make people relate to them more.

3. Grammatically correct
It is very annoying for people to find mistakes in an email. That is why you should proofread your email after completing it to correct grammar and check spelling. The use of incorrect grammar would only reduce the reputation of your organisation and yourself in the eyes of the recipient.

4. Simple and concise
The attention span of people is limited and they want to be able to read emails quickly. Therefore, use simple and plain English as much as possible in your emails. For example use “buy” instead of “purchase”. Avoid clichés such as “last but not least” and legalese such as “in reference to” and “please contact the undersigned”.

5. Appropriate Format
Your email should not have all the text in just a single paragraph as this makes it difficult for a reader to understand your meaning. Also avoid long and complex sentences with multiple clauses. Organise the content of your message logically and include bullet points, headings and subheadings for clarity.

6. Appropriate Diction
Words like urgent and important are meant for grabbing the attention of the reader. If these words are used unnecessarily, it will only contribute to making your email seem worthless to recipients. Therefore, use urgent sparingly and resort to other such words only when absolutely necessary.

7. Know the target audience
It is important that you know whom your email is supposed to convince and target. For this purpose, you should know your audience well and must have a clear idea of what they are anticipating before you start writing them an email.

8. Use of links and attachments
The effective use of attachments and hyperlinks helps you communicate your message in an efficient manner and allows your email to be concise. Use links rather than copying and pasting large sections of text.

9. Give a deadline for reply
If a reply to your email is required, then the email should clearly state the deadline for the respondent to reply. This makes it easy for the receiver to understand what actions are intended.

10. A clear action call
If your email requires the reader to perform some action or task, then the call to action should be clear and simple. Mention it more than once, so that the reader does not miss it out.

HK English runs
Business English EmaiL Writing Courses and Workshops in Hong Kong (HK).

Register for the Business English Email Writing Course (HK) here

Plain English - Write Clear Business Emails & Documents

Plain English Writing – The Art of Communication
by Ian Nock
The purpose of writing is to communicate information effectively and, in todays busy working environment, quickly and efficiently. Today people have limited time to read emails and other business documents. By using Plain English you can ensure that your writing is clear and easily understood
Always remember the “3 C’s” :-
1. Deliver a
Clear message
2. Use
Correct grammar, vocabulary and punctuation
3. Be
  • Use short and simple words when possible e.g "buy" instead of "purchase". Remember the ideas is to deliver your message efficiently rather than impress your refer with the extent of your vocabulary.
  • Use simpler sentence structures with clear organisation to make your writing easier to read.
  • Avoid multiple included clauses so as not to confuse the reader.
  • Try to keep sentences shorter than 20 words and use paragraphs to structure your message.
  • Avoid cliches and legalese. These two are overused in business texts especially in Hong Kong. Some of these phrases do not add anything to your message and can be omitted:


at an early date
in due course
replace with the exact time or date
in the event that
prior to
please be advised that
in regard to
in terms of
for your information
thank you for your kind consideration
thank you
in the near future
soon or the exact time/date
take this opportunity
we regret to inform
as a matter of fact
we are in receipt of
we have received
last but not least
any and all
at the present time
due to the fact that
In point of fact

HKEnglish runs Business English Writing Courses in Hong Kong. You can combine Business Writing with any other topic e.g. Social English.

Apply now and start improving your English!

Business Law - Drafting Legal Contracts

By Rebecca McLellan

The whole point of writing a contract is to offer protection between you and the person that you are making the contract with. It is thus very important that the contract is written well and in effect water tight so you will be fully protected should anything go wrong.

As for small businesses, you may not have the time or money to be able to get a solicitor to draw up a contract for you every time you need one. This article will offer some tips and advice on how to write up a good legal contract.

You should always volunteer to make the first draft of a contract. It will be more cost effective and you will be able to draw up terms which a more preferential to you.

You don't have to make your contract unnecessarily complex. Use terms that you and the person you are making the contract with understand. Your contract will be more enforceable if it is clear what you are trying to say. If your contract is not clear, then it may be used against you if anything were to go wrong.
You need to ensure that you use all the correct business names when drawing up your contract. This means that if you were doing business with another company, you would use the businesses name in the contract as opposed to the individual that you have been dealing with to arrange the deal.

The most important thing when writing a contract is to make it as detailed as you possibly can as to leave no margin for interpretation. You should not leave anything up to assumptions but instead make sure that you have got down in writing what you expect to happen. You should include all the rights and obligations of the parties involved and write down anything that has been agreed on verbally in order to make it official.

If you need to make any changes to the contract you will need to make a separate amendment to attach to the contract, you cannot rewrite the contract from scratch. You will need to make sure that any amendments are initialed by all the parties involved in the deal. You should also make sure that you include all the details surrounding payment and make sure that you use explicit amounts, you must be very clear. You should also include what the method of payment will be, the date of the expected payment and what will happen if the payment is late. You will also need to include clauses in which the contract may be ended. It is also important to include a section on how disputes will be dealt with if they arise.

If the person or company that you are doing business with is based in another country, you will need to decide which countries laws will govern what is written in the contract. This will be the place in which legal action will take place in the event of any problems.

For more legal advice and information, and for free legal resources visit

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Legal Drafting in English - 10 Tips

Legal Drafting - 10 Tips
By Michael Carabash

I thought it would be worthwhile to outline some tips when it came to legal drafting that I often educate my clients on. This shows why legal kits aren't as good to protecting your rights and promoting your interests as an experienced lawyer is - particularly when you need to negotiate the terms and conditions of an important agreement. So, without further adieu, here are my 10 big tips:

1. Organize your thoughts. I have a general rule about this: 1 idea per sentence, 1 idea per paragraph. Keep things simple and make sure it flows naturally.

2. Use clear language. I can't say this enough. If you have the option of using lots of words to get your thoughts across, it's likely going to get confused. You'd better cut up your sentence into clauses and then make those clauses separate sentences, each expressing only 1 idea.

3. Know your audience. At the end of the day, your contract - for it to mean anything - must be capable of being enforced through litigation. Therefore, write your contract with a judge in mind.

4. Anticipate concerns. There are lots of things you may not realize could impact the interpretation of your agreement at the time you write it. Try to anticipate those situations by looking for precedents and asking around.

5. Use precise language or wishy-washy language to suit your needs - just realize when to use it! If you're a commercial tenant, you may want to use very loose language when it comes to the types of businesses you can operate in the leased premises (to give you flexibility); you may also want very broad language when it comes to an exclusivity clause which restricts te landlord from leasing out adjacent premises to competing businesses (so more types of businesses are captured).

6. What are the consequences? If your intention is to create an enforceable agreement, then you should spell out the consequences of breaching the agreement or a specific provision therein. Also, you should - when it is to your benefit - indicate WHO is the decision maker when it comes to things like breaching the document. By this, I mean: if there is an alleged breach, then under the agreement, final decision-making authority for making that call is Party X. This puts the power in that party's hands.

7. Less is more. You've heard it before, but it's still worth repeating: use smaller words, smaller sentences, smaller paragraphs, smaller everything to get your message across. Too many words and things get messy. Also, if you have the option of using smaller words to get the message across, use them!

8. Don't use legalese unless you know what it means! Legalese is comprised of archaic words and phrases that only lawyers should be bothered with deciphering. They often have specific meanings which are beyond the knowledge or understanding of the lay person.

9. Leave room for amendments later on. Sure, you might not get everything you wanted down in one shot, so just make a provision in your agreement that things can change through mutually agreed upon (in writing) amendments.

10. Keep learning! There are always new techniques to better legal drafting so research them by reading books, articles, etc. - Need a Lawyer? Make a Post (it's free and anonymous!). Get FREE Quotes!

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Ten Tips For Better Business Writing

Ten Tips For Better Business Writing

Have you ever read an email or memo you did not understand? Have you had to read and read again the same paragraph to grasp its meaning? Do you worry that others may not be able to understand what your writing is about?

The purpose of any piece of writing is to communicate information to your readers. Here are 10 top tips to make your writing clearer and more understandable.

1. Plan your writing for your readers
2. Put the most important information at the beginning
3. Use short, understandable modern words instead of long, complicated old ones
4. Use short sentences
5. Get rid of unnecessary words, information and sentences
6. Avoid using jargon and technical terms
7. Don't use clichés such as "Please be advised that"
8. Use active verbs instead of the passive voice
9. Format information in lists and use bullet points
10. Insert tables and graphs into text rather than writing lengthy descriptions.

Also know your target audience. Who is going to read your writing and why? Do you know what is important to them?
Click for more information on how to write better business English

How to Write an Excellent Business Letter

How to Write an Excellent Business Letter

By Jean Taylor
Although the layout of a letter is important and familiarity with the standard layout helps us to get down to work quickly and methodically, the actual letter we write is the most important activity. We have to say what we want to say as clearly and concisely as possible. If this is the first letter we have written on the matter, we want to start with the maximum impact. If it is one in a chain of letters, we want to recall to our correspondent's mind all that has gone before and update him/her by a further piece or pieces of information.
It is advisable before starting the letter to jot down the points to be made and to number them so they are in the best order. If the letter is to be dictated, it is particularly important to be well-organized, with all the bits of information you need to dictate. A secretary will not be impressed by an executive who does not know the surname of the correspondent, or his/her initials, or the address, and who hesitates over the dictation, searching for odd scraps of paper in pockets, handbags, etc. If dictation is to a machine, the machine has to be told everything, so that the audio-typist can get on with the letter without delay. While a secretary can perhaps look at past correspondence for missing details, the audio-typist is remote from the scene of operations and possibly in a completely different building.
The opening paragraph
The opening paragraph tends to be short and often continues the greeting begun in the salutation if we are on familiar terms with our correspondent. In more formal situations it outlines the subject matter of the letter, reinforcing the subject-heading. It may refer to earlier correspondence, and it always sets the tone of the letter. Thus a letter was intended to make the strongest possible protest about the products or services supplied by the correspondent would not begin in a light-hearted way, but would start seriously and formally. By contrast, a letter acknowledging a large order and anticipating a long and fruitful course of dealings with a customer would begin pleasantly and keep a friendly tone throughout.
The main subject matter
The body of the letter would consist of one or more paragraphs, each dealing with a topic that is an element in the subject matter to be dealt with. Paragraphs should not be too long, unless the subject matter is particularly serious and can sustain the reader's interest because of its urgent nature. If a series of important points is being made, they may be listed (a), (b), (c), etc,. Or if they have a paragraph each, the paragraphs may be numbered. It is in this part of the letter that the writer must explain what he/she feels about the matter, and what he/she feels the next step should be. If detailed recommendations are being made, they may be listed in the final paragraph so that the correspondent can deal with them item by item. Generally speaking, a final paragraph that shows the way ahead (even if the best way ahead is to do nothing) leaves your correspondent with a clear guideline for the future.
Jean Taylor More FREE sample business letters visit
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Business Writing: Common Grammar Mistakes

Business Writing: Common Grammar Mistakes

Author: Nicole Dean

Some of the most common grammar mistakes in business are the easiest to avoid. Whether speaking or writing, correct grammar and spelling are important to your credibility and the impression you leave upon others. Here are a few of the most common grammar mistakes with examples as to the correct usage. Subject/Verb Disagreement: When speaking or writing in the present tense, both subjects and verbs must be either singular or plural. A combination of singular and plural is incorrect. Incorrect: The directions is confusing. Correct: The directions are confusing. Incorrect: One of these flowers bloom in the spring. Correct: One of these flowers blooms in the spring. Past Tense Errors: Past tense regular verbs end with the suffix "ed" such as laughed and walked. Past tense irregular verbs change form completely. Be careful not to leave out the "ed" ending when using a regular past tense verb. Incorrect: During the movie, she talk a lot. Correct: During the movie, she talked a lot. Incorrect: The water is freezed. Correct: The water has frozen. Sentence Fragments: A sentence fragment lacks a verb, subject, or both and cannot stand alone as a sentence. Incorrect: The performers who visited our school. Correct: The performers who visited our school were amazing. Incorrect: Playing all day long. Correct: We played all day long. Apostrophe Errors: An apostrophe is used to show possession. You should add an 's after a plural or single nouns that does not end in s. After a plural noun ending in s, you would only use an apostrophe alone. Incorrect: Your parent's car is parked in the driveway. (2 parents) Correct: Your parents' car is parked in the driveway. Comma Errors: Be cautious of missing commas in a series of items, missing commas after dependant introductory clauses, and missing commas in nonrestrictive clauses. Incorrect: Sea animals fascinate him so he wants to be a marine biologist. Correct: Sea animals fascinate him, so he wants to be a marine biologist.
Incorrect: Because she is ill she will not attend school today. Correct: Because she is ill, she will not attend school today. Incorrect: My car is small so it gets good gas mileage. Correct: My car is small, so it gets good gas mileage. Errors In Verb Tense Shift: A verb tense shift happens when the speaker or writer switches from past to present or present to past without reason. Incorrect: We drove to the pool, and the dog dives right in. Correct: We drive to the pool, and the dog dives right in Also correct: We drove to the pool, and the dog dove right in.

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About the Author: Nicole Dean of doesn't pay for advertising - ever. She uses Article Marketing to get free advertising on websites and in newsletters worldwide. You can use articles to get free traffic, too. Visit to find out how.

Tips for writing better business documents

Communicating in English effectively is essential in today's global economy.

But conveying your ideas clearly is a skill that needs to be learnt. Too often people simply copy the style of their co-worker and especially their superiors as they think this "good English". In Hong Kong, unfortunately, this is often not the case. You see examples in your in-box every day - emails that are difficult to understand and that you need to read over and over again to get the message.

A big mistake is to pad out your writing with unnecessary words and phrases. Remember that the purpose of your writing is to communicate your ideas clearly.

Always try to reduce the number of words in your sentences and avoid lengthy phrases that can be replaced with a shorter alternative. Here are some examples:

*Instead of "prior to" use *before*

*Instead of "subsequent" use *after*

*Instead of "in order to" use *to*

*Instead of "in the event that" use *if*

*Instead of "with reference to" use *about*

*Instead of "state of the art" use *latest*

*Instead of "due to the fact that" use *since*

*Instead of "in order to" use *to*

*Instead of "not later than 2pm" use *by 2pm*

*Instead of "at the present time" use *now*

Remember about organisation as well. Use topic sentences to indicate what each paragraph is about. In addition, keep your emails short. No one likes to read an email 10 paragraphs long!

By using simple words and easily understood phrases you can improve the clarity of your message no end.

Learn how to write good English emails quickly

When the internet started everyone went "Wow! this is great". But in reality we are all spending more and more time writing and answering emails. If English is not your first language then this can be very difficult and a big headache. What's worse is that everyone expects a reply *instantly*. If you don't reply promptly the sender will either phone you or re-send the email.

Because you don't have so much time in your busy day and since everyone expects a quick response, you usually don't have time to plan or organize effectively. For some emails this is okay - a quick confirmation of a meeting for instance. But for others when you need to communicate more complex information it is important to spend a few minutes planning what you want to say.

How do you do this? Firstly, brainstorm your ideas. Spider diagrams, or mind maps as they are sometimes called, are really good for this as they use the creative, right side of your brain. Using this technique it's easy to get a lot of ideas on paper very quickly.

The next step is to select and organize your ideas from your spider diagram. Now its time to use the logical. left side of your brain. Some of the items you brainstormed will not be relevant so delete them. After this you need to organize the points so write down points you want to include in a numbered list in the order that is most logical. Read through your list and endure that the information flows correctly.

The final step is to start the writing process. This is also complicated and will be the subject of several more articles, but always remember to be *Clear*, *Concise* and *Correct.*

Start improving your English today. And if you need to practice and have expert guidance, then one-to one private tuition is your best bet.

How can I improve my business writing?

English is the most common medium for written communication in Hong Kong.

Although Cantonese is used for day to day work, nearly all emails, memo's, notices and letters are written in English.

The bad news is that people are more likely to spot your bad English when it is written down. They have lots of time to read and re-read your emails and find every single grammar mistake!

What is worse is that the number of emails that employees have to handle is increasing every day. Even low level staff have to respond to emails in English these days.

So what can you do to improve your business English writing? Well, luckily the answer is simple! Study and practice more.

HKEnglish.Com's one to one private tuition is the best way to improve your business English rapidly. You will get 100% attention from the teacher and instant feedback on your mistakes. One hour of customised one-to-one tuition is like 20 hours in a big class!

Advanced Business English Course in Hong Kong

HKEnglish has recently launched a new *Advanced Business English Course* focusing on developing extended communication skills for senior executives, managers and other business professionals based in Hong Kong.

It is is suitable for those students who already have a good grounding in English but wish to extend their knowledge, understanding and practical application of written and spoken English in the workplace.

HKEnglish primarily uses focused _one-to-one_ training, and their native English tutors are also have business experience so they know exactly what business English students in Hong Kong need to communicate at a higher level.

Each course is customised to the student's exact needs taking into consideration their current English skills, their immediate needs and also their ongoing English learning objectives.

*Selected Syllabus Items include:*

* Meetings
* Managing people effectively in English
* Presentations
* Socialising
* Managing Projects
* Pronunciation and Intonation
* Effective email writing
* Grammar focus
* Vocabulary development

We provide a range of
Business English Courses including Oral Business English (speaking and listening), Business writing and grammar Business Presentation Skills, Preparation for Job Interviews.

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