What Google’s content guidelines mean for plain language content creators

Posted on Jan 28, 2016 in Digital
What Google’s content guidelines mean for plain language content creators

If you’re reading this post, you already know what plain language is. Simple vocabulary. Short paragraphs. Short sentences. And you know your customers want you to speak in plain language, because it’s the best way you can communicate what your organization does to them.

But do you know that mastering your plain language skills will help your website get more traffic through search engines such as Google?

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The Power of “You”: Using the Plain and the Personal to Engage Patients

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 in Guest blog, Healthcare

“Patient engagement” has become a buzzword in health care, and for good reason. For anyone whose job it is to get patients to act—to take their medicines, to come in for their A1c test, to change their diet, to make a decision—finding ways to engage those patients in their health is a must.

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Top 10 Plain Language Resolutions for 2016

Posted on Dec 30, 2015 in Holiday
Top 10 Plain Language Resolutions for 2016

Start your year off right – with new goals and commitments to make communication clearer. Here’s resolution #5: “Write less, get read more. The stats are clear. People are busy. We all want info as quickly and as clear as possible.”

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CDC’s Everyday Words from Idea to Reality

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 in Government, Guest blog
CDC’s Everyday Words from Idea to Reality

I assume all plain language experts who teach, edit, and review have confronted that exasperated sigh from a colleague: So you don’t like the word I’m using. What do you want me to use instead? This question often comes with an eye roll, grimace, or note of panic because of an approaching deadline.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of the Associate Director for Communication published Everyday Words for Public Health Communication in November 2015. It is Version 1 of plain language suggestions – not mandates – to answer that “what instead” question. This blog is the story of how the document came to be.

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An Rx for plain language

Posted on Dec 9, 2015 in Health Literacy, Plain Language Blog Articles
An Rx for plain language

What if the universal precautions approach to health literacy really were universal?

Modeled after medicine’s universal precautions approach to infection control that treats all bodily fluids as they were infectious, this health literacy strategy is well accepted as one that improves communication: Assume it’s hard for all patients to understand health information and to use the health care system.

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