By Aulia R. Sungkar (Ollie)

Director at ALVEO

Business writing has one ultimate goal: to convey valuable information. To achieve this goal, a company needs to be good at effective business writing. However, how does one produce effective business writing? Is there any guide for doing this?

Worry not. Context, Content, Clarity, Color and Carrier (also known as the 5Cs) are the keys to effective business writing. The 5Cs are widely known as the definitive guide to delivering effective communication. This guide is applicable for written, oral, and visual communication, both in traditional and new media. In this article, we’ll discuss the 5Cs for written communication. Here are the ways to utilize this tool. The five C letters stand for:


Effective writing needs context. Without any context, writing only becomes a bunch of meaningless words that are not conveyed to the proper recipients. So, in business writing, clearly state why you are sending the message and for whom, in particular, you are speaking through this written communication.


In writing pieces, think about the content. What are the messages? Are the facts and opinions presented properly? Is there any necessary call-to-action at the end of the writing that supports the purpose of the message? The written content must be delivered accordingly with the context.


Written communication for business purposes should convey information in a simple, understandable, and enticing way. Here, we talk about recipients as the business stakeholders, and they may not have lots of time to read long passages. Furthermore, recipients will be curious to read and gain more information from your writing.

In addition, the message should not contain offensive words that could harm certain community groups. It is essential to convey a clear business image to your recipients.


Colors and visuals never fail to bring attractiveness to writing. As such, utilize bigger fonts for your headlines, play with colorful designs for your layout, and insert additional visuals if possible. However, make sure that the colors and other visual elements are used proportionally so as not to confuse the main message. Using too much in the way of color or visuals also may drive the recipients away.


This element is in regard to which form of media is the most suitable for delivering your message. A written form of communication could be published in one or more media. Many factors could contribute to the decision, be it the age of target recipients, location or others. For instance, if you want to deliver information about a new shoe product for young adults, use Instagram and Twitter as your media. This helps you engage more recipients as young adults are more active in social media and newer forms of media than traditional ones.

If you are unsure about determining the most suitable form of media for your message, consult with external communications experts. The bottom line, the 5Cs are an essential guide for producing effective business writing that supports your goals. The 5Cs make your writing simple, more engaging, easy to understand, and provides a call-to-action that is beneficial for follow-ups to your recipients.

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