It’s hard to argue with the value of clear communications. After all, what company wants confusing, jargon-filled copy? But is ‘plain English’ really the answer? And is there a way to be plain without being, well, plain?
Bear in mind that simplicity is not the same as clarity. As Richard Saul Wurman – a pioneer in the practice of making information easily understandable – notes: clarity is essential to understanding, while simplicity often involves removing the most interesting or informative points.
Clarity comes with confidence – knowing what your brand is about and how you want to convey your message. You don’t have to over-explain or ‘dumb down’ your copy. Give your audience some credit. There’s nothing to stop you from introducing new and interesting words and descriptions in your writing. As long as it is clear, then the reader will ‘get it’.
Write with personality
Every person has a distinct tone of voice – a way of speaking that is unique to them. This could be characterised by particular words, phrases or verbal tics. Likewise, every business has a unique tone of voice, which should shine through in all of your communications.
Shorter isn’t always better
Yes, you want your copy to be clear and concise – but this doesn’t always mean that the piece has to be short in length. In fact, cutting words can often lessen the impact of your copy.
Longer, more detailed writing works well in some situations, for example, ads on the underground, which people have got the time to stop and read. Also, change the pace of your writing by varying sentence length – it all helps to keep your reader hooked.
Need a hand making your copy plain, but not boring? Contact Ink on 01225 731 373.