International consultancy Castalia was the big winner at the 2015 Plain English Awards. It’s the second time Castalia has taken the prestigious Plain English Champion—Best Organisation award in the 10 years since the awards began. Chief executive David Ehrhardt credits the consultancy’s plain language communication as a significant factor for its international growth.
Castalia has won services worth $10,000 from New Zealand’s plain English specialists and founding sponsor, Write Limited.
‘Our chief executive inspires us all to produce documents that report our analysis clearly, accurately, and easily—even though the subjects we write about are often complex,’ says Pamela Todd, Castalia’s communications manager in a statement.
The two other awards in the Champion category went to Careers NZ for Best Individual or Team, and the Ministry of Social Development for Best Project.
The Best Plain English Turnaround award went to OSPRI, who had a clean sweep of all the finalist spots.
Awards for the Best Plain English Document went to the Commerce Commission for the public sector, and to Beef + Lamb for the private sector.
The Best Plain English Website award for a public sector organisation or NGO went to the Department of Internal Affairs for www.govt.nz. And Woods the Creative Agency took the private sector award for Best Website, for the second year running, this time for www.enzedexotics.com.
For the first time, the awards have a category for Best Legal Document, won by OnePath Life (NZ) Limited.
The Best Plain English Technical Communicator is Meredith Evans.
Mercer has won Best Plain English Annual Report, building on its success in the same category last year.
Statistics New Zealand has won the award for Best Sentence Transformation, for the second year in a row.
Members of the public also submitted entries for two categories. The People’s Choice awards recognise the best and worst in government and corporate communications. Westpac won the Best Communication award for its web content about the often-complex topic of home loans. The People’s Choice Worst ‘Brainstrain’ award went to Funds Administration NZ Limited for its Lifestages KiwiSaver Scheme Investor Update.
Reaching the 10th anniversary for the Awards shows that clear communication is becoming a habit for many entrants, says chair of the WriteMark Trust, Gregory Fortuin. Many of this year’s entrants have participated in previous years and, as always, the trust saw a good number of first-time entrants too. ‘More and more organisations want to show they communicate clearly. They recognise that clarity is what readers need. Meeting that need is simply the right thing to do. And, of course, clear communication creates a business advantage too,’ he said.
Sponsors for this year’s Awards included Write Limited, NZ Superannuation Fund, Consumer NZ, Technical Communicators Association of New Zealand, Printing.com, Wright Family Foundation, WriteMark Plain English Standard, and Editor Software.