I like this free infographic from Copyblogger.com. As graphic communication, it practices what it preaches. Click the graphic to get a full-size copy that you can read for the small print.
Copyblogger.com is a service for bloggers who sell content, but the principles apply to any persuasive communication, including, but not limited to, the way you structure the story of your own business.
When you structure the story you tell, the claims and appeals you make, to fit your reason for writing and the result you hope to get, your chances of success are the best they can be.
When your story leaves it to your audience to guess what you want them to do, or how doing it will help them, you risk confusing or losing them.
Of the two sub-optimal outcomes, losing them is probably better!
The reason is that people impose meaning from their imaginations to fill your gaps in clarity. The meaning they arrive at will not be accurate. They will arrive at your door with unrealistic expectations and hold you accountable for misleading them.
writingcommons.org is a free and easy collection of articles about the issues that concern writers in the new media mileu.
If you skip to the Rhetorical Analysis section, you’ll find the system to follow for choosing words and graphic design that work to persuade the audiences for your business communications.
Be sure to read the section on visual literacy. The new Rhetoric incorporates visual communication formally into the body of knowledge that previously, from Aristotle forward, concentrated exclusively on speech and writing.
I’ve been arguing for (and teaching) visual analysis for nearly thirty years, so I know for a fact that the field of Rhetoric advanced conservatively in an environment of radical change.
Until human nature becomes resistant to persuasion, the principles (canons) are still the organizing structure to use. However, you are on your own when it comes to using it to discover what works for the immediate situation and particular audience you have to work with. The “Next New Thing” is history by the time Art and Science describe it.