Business Writing Workshops Boost NASA Center’s Prospects for Employee Awards

Colorado Springs, CO — October 6, 2007 — Special business writing training workshops by the Murawski Group are boosting one NASA center’s chances to win awards for top employees.

Every year NASA headquarters and its ten centers around the country honor outstanding achievement — scientific, engineering, and administrative. Top teams and individuals earn recognition for contributions that far exceed job descriptions. Judges choose winners from written nominations, which are the focus of these unusual business writing workshops. The challenge: to write nominations that explain achievements in winning ways.

“That isn’t easy if you’ve grown up on technical writing, which emphasizes description over persuasion,” says Dr. Thomas Murawski, president of the Murawski Group. “But nominations must sell, not just tell. The trick is to avoid breathless advertising copy, of course, but also to avoid bogging down in obscure accounts of what nominees did. What’s the significance? What’s the payoff?”

The center’s middle and senior leaders, including the center director, took part in one-day business writing workshops. They studied winning and losing nominations, conducted a mock promotion board, and practiced organizing by challenge, action, and result. At the end of each business writing workshop, participants met with the instructor for individual coaching. To improve the entire nomination process, the Murawski Group offered changes to the nomination form and the center’s recordkeeping.

Results will be known next year, when the center compares its awards record for 2008 with earlier successes. In the meantime, reactions to the business writing training workshops are encouraging. When representative participants were asked whether they “would recommend the course to others,” fully 92% agreed (8% were neutral). Especially popular: the structure offered for award nominations and the relevance of the workshop’s illustrations and exercises.

Founded in 1985, the Murawski Group, Inc. is a boutique training and consulting company with a specialty in customized business writing workshops. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, all 15 federal cabinet departments, and the White House.