Plain English is a term used to describe writing in plain language and without over complicating text.
“Plain English gets its meaning across clearly and concisely to its intended audience.” The Plain English Campaign
At GD PR & Media we are advocates of using Plain English in all of our writing and passionate about ensuring our clients’ messages are conveyed in the best possible way. We’ve put together some of our best tips and advice for you to consider when communicating with your readers.
Why write in Plain English?
Writing simply and clearly will result in your message being understood by your readers, and ultimately your customers. Your key messages should be easy to digest without being hidden in a cloud of unnecessary words.
How to use Plain English in writing
Here are some of our top tips for getting your message across effectively:
- Think about your audience. Who will be reading your content and what would they understand?
- The tone of your content will form an opinion of your brand. You could write in a fun, personal manner, or businesslike and factual.
- Don’t make sentences longer than they need to be. 15-20 words is ideal, but you can vary this for rhythm.
- Aim for one idea per sentence and break longer sentences into two.
- Try not to repeat words.
- Use simple words that a wider audience is more likely to understand.
- Avoid jargon and abbreviations; give an explanation if you have to include.
Thinking about the appearance of your writing
Finally, you should consider how your reader will be viewing your content. For example, it could be online featured on a blog or website, or in hard copy format in a magazine or leaflet.
Think about how the text looks and use bullet points if you need certain points to be clear to the reader. The font size should be large enough to read with ease and any colours kept to a minimum.
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