Who’s the clearest of them all? Which organisation best understands the need for clarity in communication?
The list of finalists in the 2014 Plain English Awards is out. Winners to be announced 27th November.
The finalist organisations are united by their dedication to clarity in communication. They understand that communicating clearly and simply contributes to their success, and they walk the talk. Clear communication shows they respect and understand their audiences and readers, and it builds goodwill. These organisations also know that clear communication can increase their bottom line.
This ninth year of the Awards saw 122 entries across 12 categories.
‘The Awards encourage organisations to show they care about communicating honestly and clearly,’ says Gregory Fortuin, Chair of the WriteMark Plain English Awards Trust. ‘Making the effort to communicate in plain English can make a difference to the lives of many people.’
Categories in the Awards honour documents and websites — and the people who write them. And members of the public could join in the push for plain English by nominating good or bad documents in the People’s Choice category.
Clear communication is an important contributor to an organisation’s success. For example, last year’s grand prize winner, the Ministry of Social Development, reduced the number of phonecalls from welfare clients needing to clarify a point from an average 25% to just 2.5%. Fewer phonecalls means money saved, and less pressure on the call centre.
The spokesman for the Environmental Protection Authority said he’d been complimented for their winning entry: ‘…getting fan mail for a government publication is something of a rarity.’
First prize in the premier Champion category of the Awards is $10,000 in plain English consultancy from sponsor Write Limited. The finalists are:
Plain English Champion — Best Organisation
Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team
Inland Revenue — Lindsay Botham
Ministry of Social Development — Sarah Moodie
StudyLink — StudyLink Service Support Team
Best Plain English Document — Public Sector / Non-Government Organisation (NGO)
Commerce Commission — Know your rights as a consumer brochure
NZ On Air — Statement of Intent 2014–2018
The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand — Get Ahead Skills: My Planning My Preparation: Workbook
Best Plain English Document — Private Sector
Mercer (NZ) Limited — Annual Member Benefit Statement
Skills Active Aotearoa — Information Sheets
Woods Creative Limited — PowerSmart DLE brochure and owner’s manual
Best Plain English Website — Public Sector / Non-Government Organisation (NGO)
Best Plain English Website — Private Sector
Best Plain English Sentence Transformation
Internal Affairs — sentence from website
Statistics New Zealand — sentence from Income tables [web page]
Xero — sentence from Tax Rates
Best Plain English Technical Communicator
Janet Green, Risk and Assurance team, Ministry of Social Development
Kylie McGrath, Xero
Laura Southgate, Xero
Ros Black, Xero
Best Plain English Annual Report
Beef + Lamb New Zealand — Annual Report 2012–2013
Mercer (NZ) Limited — Annual Report
Best Plain English Turnaround
MAS — MAS Motor Vehicle Insurance
MAS — MAS House and Contents Insurance
Spark New Zealand — Call Minder
People’s Choice — Best Plain English Communication
In this category, we can’t tell you who the finalist is. There’s only one, so we would be giving away the winner! All will be revealed at the Awards ceremony on 27 November.
People’s Choice — Worst ‘Brainstrain’ Communication
We can’t very well congratulate the ‘Brainstrain’ finalists, but here they are!
Air New Zealand — Important Notices
Earthquake Commission — Email about a simple repair job that hadn’t been sorted after 3 years (and 3 months)