How engineers can use generative AI to craft compelling business writing

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Published Aug 03, 2023 | Written by Jeremy Knight

What is the difference between content writing and copywriting? How exactly can generative AI help engineers in personalising their content? How can it provide tips on subtle and emotive language cues to create a sense of compassion and understanding in the content? How can it help hone your business writing skills and business communication?

As the contemporary digital landscape burgeons with data, companies are under more pressure than ever to produce clear, influential, and persuasive content. This pressure underlines the significance of two writing domains - content writing and copywriting. 

Both these domains carry different mandates but converge on the common ground of persuasion. 

  • Content writing creates valuable and informative materials to position a company as an expert. 
  • Conversely, copywriting aims to incite a specific action, such as purchasing a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or participating in an event.

Persuasion is a finesse, a craft that transforms mere information into a compelling narrative that stirs curiosity, captivates attention, and stimulates decisive action. But, this task is especially daunting for professionals like engineers, who are typically more attuned to problem-solving than business writing skills. 

However, with the advent of sophisticated generative AI technologies, engineers can now find formidable allies in mastering the craft of good business writing.

Adopting a 'You' attitude: Making content personal and relatable

Developing a strong bond with your audience is crucial to crafting compelling content and copywriting. You can achieve this by tailoring the content and shifting the viewpoint from "I" or "we" to "you" or "your". This shift in perspective highlights the reader's interests, wants, and needs, fostering greater connection and comprehension.

Engineers often face the challenge of highly technical writing to a diverse audience with varying technical expertise. AI technology can provide engineers with tools to personalise their content from a reader's perspective. It can suggest ways to transform complex technical jargon into engaging and understandable content that resonates with a broader audience.

Moreover, AI can propose relevant and relatable examples, analogies, and metaphors to simplify complex technical information and enhance its impact. This helps to bridge the gap between the engineer's specialised knowledge and the reader's comprehension.

Conveying warmth: Breathing life into communication

Even with the rapid digitisation of communication, the human element in business writing is indispensable. Injecting warmth, empathy, and care into writing augments its persuasive power by resonating with recipients on a human, emotional level. By demonstrating genuine interest in the reader's problems and expressing a steadfast commitment to solving them, the writing evolves from purely informational to engaging, persuasive, and impactful.

Engineers traditionally operate in analytical environments that value data over feelings and often find incorporating warmth into their communication challenging. Generative AI offers a solution to this quandary. It can suggest phrases or sentences that convey empathy and concern, adding a 'human touch' to the engineer's communication. 

This fusion of human warmth and technical expertise makes the communication more relatable and engenders trust, making the narrative more effective and engaging.

Moreover, AI can provide tips on subtle language cues and emotive language that can be used to create a sense of compassion and understanding in the content, making the reader feel seen, understood, and valued.

Storytelling and shared experiences: Transforming facts into narratives

In the realm of communication, stories rule supreme. They command attention, stir emotions, and inspire action. Stories breathe life into facts, transforming them into captivating narratives. They provide a context that simplifies complex or technical content, making it more relatable and easier to understand.

Engineers often face the daunting task of explaining complex processes, solutions, or concepts engagingly. This challenge is amplified when the audience needs a more technical background to understand the information. Generative AI can help mitigate this challenge by suggesting narratives, analogies, or examples that make technical explanations more relatable and comprehensible.

By incorporating AI's storytelling suggestions into their writing, engineers can share their expert technical knowledge in a compelling, digestible manner that resonates with a broader audience. Furthermore, AI can provide invaluable insights into crafting a storyline that captivates the reader from start to finish, enhancing the overall readability and effectiveness of the content.

Respect and courtesy: Facilitating positive interactions

A fundamental tenet of all forms of communication is maintaining a respectful and courteous tone. This positive demeanour prevents potential misunderstandings, promotes open dialogue, and fosters pleasant interactions, enhancing the reader's overall experience.

Engineers often deal with complex situations and challenging conversations, where maintaining a respectful and courteous tone can pave the way for smoother communication and constructive problem-solving. 

Generative AI can suggest suitable phrases and maintain a positive tone in communication to encourage constructive interaction.

Additionally, AI can assist in using sensitive language, preventing engineers from using language that may be offensive, dismissive, or overly technical. This respectful tone promotes the development of professional relationships grounded on mutual respect and trust and encourages a sense of camaraderie and collaboration.

Fostering a positive tone: Inspiring confidence and optimism

The way content is presented can significantly affect how the recipient receives it. A positive tone can boost confidence, encourage problem-solving, and make the content more attractive. It can reassure recipients, even when dealing with difficult or complex subjects.

Engineers often convey intricate details or address complex issues, so they must maintain a positive tone in their writing. Using generative AI, engineers can get suggestions for positive phrases, expressions, and language cues to reassure readers about their ability to handle challenges efficiently.

This positivity bolsters ‌engineers' image as capable problem solvers and infuses optimism into their communication. Moreover, AI can guide on consistently maintaining this positive tone throughout the content, creating a sense of reliability and stability that further enhances the reader's confidence and trust in the engineer's abilities.

Five more considerations to bear in mind

Responding to the audience: A critical factor in writing persuasively is understanding the audience's needs, interests, pain points, and context. Using efficient prompt engineering to your advantage, you can include output from your ideal customer profiles, buyer persona profiles and buyer's journey research.

Clear and Concise Messaging: Clarity and brevity are crucial for effective communication. Complex ideas should be broken down into easily digestible points, and unnecessary jargon should be avoided. Generative AI can assist by suggesting more straightforward language or rephrasing complex sentences to enhance readability and comprehension.

Consistent Messaging: Consistency in tone, style, and messaging strengthens brand identity and builds trust with the audience. Generative AI can analyse existing content to understand your brand's voice and maintain this consistently across all written communication, creating a coherent brand narrative.

Leverage automated editing: Whether checking your writing style, using the active voice rather than passive voice, your grammar or wider written communication, generative AI can help with effective business writing and honing your business writing skill. It can help too with creative writing, good writing skills, a business document and all use of the written word from a marketing, sales and customer service perspective. 

The importance of honing your business writing skills: Finding the best business writing course for professional writing is probably not the best course of action today. Instead, searching for courses or guidance for the business writer and AI will be a better direction for effective writing today.

I can happily recommend Marketing Profs AI for Content Creators course or any of the resources at the Marketing AI Institute.

In conclusion

Persuasive business writing, including content writing and copywriting, is anchored on five essential components: personalisation, warmth, storytelling, courtesy, and positivity. 

For engineers, integrating these strategies into their writing, especially with generative AI technologies, can dramatically transform their communication approach, making it more relatable, engaging, and impactful.

With the combined power of their technical expertise and AI-enabled communication tools, engineers are well-equipped to craft compelling narratives that educate, engage, convince, and spur action. 

This convergence of technology and persuasive writing promises to revolutionise the field of technical communication, breaking down barriers and fostering a more profound understanding between engineers and their diverse audience.

A human, assisted by generative AI, wrote this post. The post has been updated from the original post written in February 2020.

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Published by Jeremy Knight August 3, 2023
Jeremy Knight