Professional Writing in Small Businesses

Camrie Latham


When telling people that you study Professional Writing, the most common reaction is confusion. Few people actually understand what it is, and even less know how to make it a
career. Many people fail to realize that Professional Writing studies are applicable to any career field.

One such field is small business ownership. Although most degrees can aid one in owning a small business, professional writers have a special skill set that gives them an advantage. Professional Writing classes prepare students to, as the name states, write professionally. So, these students are trained in both technical and corporate communication.


Businesses must have an enjoyable or respectable presence to attract customers and build a loyal following. Being able to create attractive flyers, an entertaining website, or even compose a relatable social media post can improve the image of the company and influence potential customers. Some Professional Writing courses address these subjects directly, teaching how to prioritize and influence the audience through writing.

Informing the Customer

Additionally, the customers should be kept in-the-know, so to speak, with what is happening with the company. The ability to create and maintain blogs, social media accounts, or digital newsletters goes a long way in this area. Providing information directly to consumers allows for a better connection between businesses and clients and prevents confusion.

Maintenance and Growth

Lastly, businesses use professional writing to maintain and grow their company. Creating memos, letters, and reports helps to maintain order within the business, while grant writing and online fundraising involve writing that helps the company grow. Learning to appeal to an audience is, again, crucial to be successful at either of these, and Professional Writing courses emphasize this.

To successfully run a cafe or shop, professional communication is vital. The company must have a likable public presence, customers need to be kept up-to date, and the business must be able to communicate to both maintain itself internally and grow externally. Courses offered at UAB such as Developing Digital Documents, Business Writing, Digital Publishing, and Visual Rhetoric can provide students with
a deeper understanding of what it means to communicate effectively and reach these goals.

These are only a few examples of how Professional Writing can apply to running a small business; the fundamentals of Professional Writing play a big role in a successful small start-up.



The Impact of Social Media on Professional Writing

Genni Boatwright

Kalyn Wolfe

It doesn’t seem that long ago that social media was just starting out and people were still reading a newspaper or turning on the TV to get the news. I remember when Myspace first started and was more of a dating site than a way to connect with friends. I was on Facebook when only college students were allowed. It wasn’t long after Facebook began that we saw the social media explosion. Now, there are so many social media sites that I can’t keep up with them all. Social media is no longer just a way to connect with friends and family. It has seeped into professional writing world. It has changed the way we receive our news and advertisement. So many people now rely on social media for their news that news outlets are being forced to adapt how they deliver content in order to stay relevant.


To get more insight on the affects of social media on professional writing, I spoke with Kalyn Wolfe. Kalyn is a weekly columnist for the Pensacola News Journal, freelance writer for the New York Times, and the Digital Media Specialist for Meyer Vacation Rentals. One of her duties for Meyer is handling their social media accounts. Their Facebook alone has over 200,000 followers. We spoke about what caused the shift in social media and the impact it had on professional writing. She says,

“Links are what really affected professional writing. Things are now easier with a click of a button, eliminating steps. You only have so many characters to get your audience’s attention. People are learning to work with less but providing more impact. Also, we have new ways of gathering information and people have become less inhibited.”

Professional writers need to be careful not to write with the intention of getting followers and likes. They need to avoid being considered clickbait by not giving misleading headlines. A title to an article is important. Kalyn says,

“You can be a little tongue and cheek with a headline but don’t get too cutesy. Don’t treat it like a teaser and state the facts.”

I asked her what advice she would like to give young professional writers:

“Stay authentic. If you write a story to get more followers, then you won’t be your authentic self. Also, don’t be afraid to have fun but know that as a writer it comes with responsibility.”