SUEZ environnement (formerly SITA)

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Speaking with one voice

One of the biggest challenges with bid-writing is that there are often multiple contributors involved, which can make it difficult to maintain a unified voice. That was the issue that prompted Recycling and Waste Recovery UK of the Suez Environnement Group (formerly SITA UK) to call Emphasis in to help.

The organisation works with businesses and local authorities to reduce the impact of waste on the environment. They regularly compose large bids that require input from various areas of the company.

Shared core writing values

Clarke O’Gara, Assistant PPP Project Manager, contacted Emphasis for help with managing multiple contributions. ‘The main purpose of our department is to compose very large bids that include elements from the technical side to the more fluffy,’ he says. ‘As these are written by different people in different departments, we were struggling to maintain a consistent voice. What we wanted was to make sure that at least our core people had the same core writing values.’

‘I chose Emphasis because it had a specific tender-writing course, and when I phoned up to enquire, [Sales Director] Tom [Wilde] immediately diagnosed exactly the problems we were having and knew how to treat them.’

A sleeker operation

Emphasis ran a one-day Bid, tender and sales proposal writing course, specifically tailored to the company. It was structured in two parts: the first focusing on planning, the second on technique.

‘That structure was really helpful, because it reminds you to plan effectively before you start writing,’ explains Clarke.


A few weeks after the course, the trainer returned to hold a follow-up coaching clinic with each delegate, having analysed fresh writing samples to monitor their progress.

‘The clinic was really helpful for reinforcing the overall messages,’ says Clarke. ‘It was great to see Jack again and to have a consolidation of the overall course.’

The business development effect

The training has made a big difference within the department, streamlining the bid-writing process and cutting down the time spent reviewing and revising. ‘We’re planning more carefully before the pen hits the paper,’ says Clarke. ‘We’re spending much less time writing and much less time reviewing, and the overall process is much quicker than before.’

Delegate views

‘The course gives you the confidence to drop meaningless business jargon and use simple, lucid language for maximum impact.’ – Emma Deeman

‘The Emphasis training course we attended was outstanding. It’s enabled our bid writing to be far more direct and effective, and helped us to find a more unified voice.’ – Kim Shaw

‘The structure of the course was excellent. Emphasis focus on the basics of what makes good, clear writing.’ – Laurent Fabre