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Don’t make the mistake that trade magazines or business writing has lower standards than mainstream publications like Cosmopolitan or People. Trade magazines don’t have the staff and budget of the big hitters like Cosmo and for this reason writing for a trade can be challenging at first, since proper spelling, punctuation and capitalization are critical if you want your article to see print.  For example, to see if you know the business writing basics correctly answer the following question.

Acme Company has just accepted your request to interview the vice president of the company. After the interview you write up an article. In that article, when would you spell out the word “company” in Acme Company and when would you abbreviate it and use Co.?

The answer is, upon first mention in your article you would spell out the word  “company” and every mention thereafter it can be abbreviated as “Co.” 

In trade and business writing you will often refer to company names many of which will be followed by the terms company, corporation, incorporated, limited liability partnership, limited liability corporation, or limited.  Remember, spell out the full company name when you first mention it in your article, and abbreviate after that. Other abbreviations are:

Limited Liability Partnership
Limited Liability Corporation
Also with trade and business writing, you will often use executive titles in articles. You may have noticed when reading business articles or letters, that sometimes the title is capitalized and others times it is lower case. The reason for this is that you only capitalize the business title if it is used before the person’s name. For example, “Director of Marketing, John Appleton, commented it was very exciting to join an established like ABC Company.”

If you write the executive’s name first, the business title should follow in lower case. For example, “ABC Company appointed John Appleton as director of marketing.”   Either way your order it is correct, but for uniformity’s sake pick one order and stick with it.

As with the company name, it is also standard to spell out the employee’s full title upon first mention and then abbreviate all further mentions.

Some common titles are

Chairman of the Board
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operating Office
Chief Financial Officer
Vice President
Vice President
Manager Partner
Managing Partner (used in Britain)

*While the abbreviation for chief operation office could be COO, it is advised that you spell out the title, since most people are not familiar with it. Also notice that president, vice president and managing partners do not have abbreviations.