Whether you work with internal or external clients, staff or freelancers, a successful plain language project requires open-minded, committed, knowledgeable clients and practitioners.
Earlier this year, I was so lucky to have a client who:
1. was open-minded to plain language for internal, external, print, and online information; and sharing project developments along the way.
2. committed to having training and updating their style guide.
3. knew the importance of testing during the whole plain language process. They had already done testing before we started.
All this resulted in a satisfying and successful project, certainly from my side.
Successful plain language projects involve learning and leading from both sides.
Steps to success
1. Do your research.
2. Develop a strong plan that is also flexible.
3. Be prepared to educate and learn along the way.
Successful plain language projects involve learning and leading from both sides. And, don’t forget to put the audience, readers, users at the front. They have the answers, or at least the questions that need answering and form your project plan.
Best of luck with all your plain language initiatives. If you need help or advice, take a course, book some coaching, hire an Academy consultant (services in English, French, and Spanish). We’re here to chat.
Plain language is about using everyday words and simple sentence structures. But the information must also be CORRECT. It isn’t plain if the information is wrong.
Last week, my home heating company emailed me about new pricing. They offered an email address to reach them with questions. But the email address was wrong. And actually, that's the second year in a row this has happened.
The tone of their message is perfect, and the information is clear. But they have undermined their work to build a relationship at a time when prices are rising sharply.
It takes so little time to ensure information is correct, and mere seconds to test an email address. It takes a lot longer to solve a problem created by unclear communication.
After you’ve made time to make your writing plain, quickly double-check any pertinent details. Your communication is plain language only if the information is correct.
To learn more about making your communication excellent, sign up for a course at Plain Language Academy. Your customers will thank you!
Nicole Watkins Campbell, Instructor
A2: Editing for Plainer Legal Writing
for writers with no legal training
Register now. Starts Oct 3. $275.00.CAD
A9: Editing for Plainer Technical Writing
For people who prepare technical information for non-technical readers
Register now. Starts Oct 17 $275.00.CAD
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