Friday, April 6, 2012

Business Proposal Writing
What can we learn from this advertisement?

"What has inspired countless Haiku poems will also inspire you".

What can business proposal writers learn from this Malaysia Airlines advertisement which appeared in local dailies just a few days ago? What's the purpose of this ad? Obviously, it's using haiku, the famous form of Japanese poetry, with presumably Sakura cherry blossoms to entice newspaper readers.The choice of the soft pink-white petals with the beckoning golden yellow filaments could induce in the readers a spring-is-in-the-air mood.

For the business proposal writer, are you able to make your readers see or feel what really matters to them: providing a solution that will solve their problems and bring them the benefits they desire? Will you be able to help them visualize the problem-benefit equation?

Yet, I don't feel quite persuaded by the ad. How many Malaysians out there really know about the Japanese haiku? It's like you put out an ad in China with this line against a picture of our hibiscus flowers: "What has inspired countless pantun poems will also inspire you". Just as the majority of Chinese will not be able to relate to the pantun, it makes me wonder how many Malaysians can relate to the haiku.Why not just show us a famous haiku poem written about the famous cherry blossoms? I would say the cherry blossoms are more well-known than the haiku. Anyway, how can one be so sure that what has inspired countless haiku poems "will also inspire" us?

For the business proposal writer, I would say: make sure that your readers can relate to the solution or idea that you are trying to sell them. For example, avoid using jargon that may confuse them. Do not assume that just because you are the specialist in your field, your readers should know the subject matter as well as you do.