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For something that is so vitally important to all of us, money matters can be awfully hard to understand. Talk about stocks, inflation and other financial matters can seem like another language even if it’s all written in English. In order to empower people to take more control over their personal finances, implementing Plain Language in both private and public sector communications is essential.
April is “Financial Literacy Month.” Financial decisions – such as applying for a credit card, choosing a small business loan, or switching banks – cannot be made lightly.
The plain language world is filled with passionate people who believe strongly in the power and importance of clarity. We spend our days fighting jargon and legalese like the true foes they are. We help our clients share clear, empathetic messages that reflect their audience’s true needs.
But, for many of us, looking more closely at our own communications may uncover an unfortunate secret: The cobbler’s children have no shoes.
Blog image ReadabilityAll of our organizations are shifting toward digital communication. They’re reducing face-to-face contact, calls and printed material.
Why? An obvious reason is that digital reduces cost. For some government services, the average cost of a digital transaction is 5 percent of the cost of a telephone transaction, 3 percent of the cost of a postal transaction, and 2 percent of the cost of a face-to-face transaction.
Why do I provide Plain Language work? As an educator, I value plain language as an equity issue for adults with low reading skills. Here is a snapshot of the problem in the United States
Another holiday season has passed, along with the requisite schmoozing at parties. I tend to be more of a listener than a talker. But if I’m asked, I do admit that I’m an editor and a proponent of plain language.
If most of the people you’re trying to communicate with aren’t responding in the way you intended, there’s a good chance that the problem is YOU.