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#WednesdayWrite: Is BRIEF Correspondence Best?

#WednesdayWrite: Is BRIEF Correspondence Best? published on

This week, the daily posts focus on correspondence in general. You will find posts that apply to letters, memos, and email messages—all of which you write in the workplace. Since none of the course projects focuses on correspondence, these posts will cover this important topic.

SSN774 Virginia rollout by Marion Doss on Flickr, used under a CC-BY-SA 2.0 licenseThe Lifehacker article “Remember ‘BRIEF’ for Efficient Office Communication” outlines a mnemonic for writing correspondence and presentations that include just the right amount of information for the audience and purpose. The idea is explained fully in the book Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less by Joseph McCormack, the founder and CEO of Sheffield Marketing Partners. (The full text of the ebook is available through the Tech library.)

Neolithic, a commenter on the Lifehacker post, argues that another mnemonic, SBAR, is more effective. The SBAR system was developed by U.S. Navy personnel working on nuclear submarines. As explained in Stewart and Hand’s “SBAR, Communication, and Patient Safety: An Integrated Literature Review,” “Employed primarily in high-risk situations of the Navy’s nuclear submarine industry, the SBAR communication tool enabled all users, regardless of the level of command, to communicate via a common structure.”

For your #WednesdayWrite, compare the two mnemonics and explain which would make the better choice for someone in your field. As you examine the two options, think not only about the logistics of how they work but also the details on how they were created (one in marketing and the other by the military).

If you read any of the linked background information, incorporate what you find as well. Further, you can also suggest an alternative system for writing effective correspondence if you have one.


Photo credit: SSN774 Virginia rollout by Marion Doss on Flickr, used under a CC-BY-SA 2.0 license


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