When it comes to business writing of any kind, consistency is important. Every marketing piece should reflect your brand. Every piece of internal communication needs to convey a consistent attitude toward staff. Every blog post should serve the same larger strategy.
One way to increase consistency is to use business writing templates. That might mean having a press release template you use for every news story, or an email pitch template, or templates you model every blog post or white paper on.
Business writing templates have their place. But they can also pose problems. So today let’s touch on some of the pros and cons of using them.
Pros of Business Writing Templates
Here are some of the benefits of using templates for your company’s content and copy:
- Business writing templates can save you time. Documents with similar parts don’t need to be written from scratch (such as press release templates including the company boilerplate).
- Using a template can ensure consistency between multiple employees or contractors handling your business writing.
- If you have a professional business writer or content marketer help you create reusable templates, you can save money in the long run by using them as guides for creating more of your own content. (Obviously I don’t recommend this for all types of business writing, especially where specialized expertise helps, such as writing high-converting copy. But for news-oriented blog posts, newsletters, and long-form content like reports, this can work if you have the time to take on your own writing.)
Cons of Business Writing Templates
On the other side, here are some potential downsides of relying too heavily on templates:
- Templates can make you appear lazy. This is especially true with email pitch templates taken from third parties. For example, I run many blogs, and I receive a lot of guest post email pitches. It’s always obvious when someone used a third party template (because I’ve seen them all before), and just plugged my name and site info in. Pitches are something that should always be personalized. And that means much more than addressing them to the correct person.
- Over-relying on business writing templates puts you at risk of becoming too comfortable. When you’re used to doing things the same way all the time, it might make you less likely to experiment and test options that could prove to be more beneficial.
- If your templates are too specific — going beyond serving as guides and instead dictating all elements of your style — you run the risk of your business writing becoming boring. If every blog post looks the same… if every page of copy on your site is formatted in the same way… if every email newsletter looks and reads just like the last, you won’t keep people coming back for more.
Use business writing templates to help you save time and maintain consistency. But don’t let your company rely on them to the point of losing originality or becoming dull and ineffective. And if you’re going to use templates, create your own or work with a professional to create custom templates for your company. Relying on publicly-released templates from third parties doesn’t make your life easier. It makes you look like everyone else.
If you need help creating business writing templates for your company’s most common projects, get in touch and get help from a professional business writer who can help you craft templates and style rules to match your brand.