You’ve probably heard of the Plain English Campaign? It’s a bunch of people who get worked up about jargon, right?
Well, sort of. Their aim is to help everyone be understood.
They frown on business speak, legalese and anyone using fancy words to try and make what they do sound more than it is. People who build walls with words to make themselves sound special.
You see it all the time, insurance policies with exception clauses so long you lose the will to live. Meetings where people talk about stakeholders and ROI. Emails that bore everyone with numbers.
If you talk like this behind closed doors, chances are you do the same in public.
We believe that a communications strategy starts with the people doing the talking and needs to carry through to every single email, document and announcement you make.
Plain English isn’t the same as dull English. It’s just another way of saying you’ll create words that get the message over.
How you can get it wrong
Assuming everyone knows your special world
Using jargon and insider terms that shut people out
Using your words to build walls and protect your special powers
Saying it this way – because that’s how it has to be
Assuming that using a bit of legalese makes it sound official
How you can get it right
Look at everything you produce – how old are some of those documents?
Ask yourself if words are the right way of delivering information – what about interactive learning?
How we can help
A Plain English awareness session – we’ll show you what’s wrong and how to get it right
An analysis of your documents
Editing for clarity
Presentations to those stubborn people in the management team who think they know best