Sunday, February 24, 2013

Plain is the new beautiful

Congratulations to ANZ on achieving the WriteMark for their new ANZ KiwiSaver investment statement. The investment statement has been posted to close to 200,000 New Zealanders. It is the first KiwiSaver investment statement in the country to carry the WriteMark.

“We wanted our refreshed ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement to have the highest standards for plain English and clarity,” said John Body, Managing Director, ANZ Wealth and Private Banking, New Zealand.

“WriteMark is the recognised quality mark for plain English in New Zealand and we are pleased to be the first in the industry to carry a WriteMark on our KiwiSaver investment statement. We believe displaying the WriteMark gives members confidence that our documents have been written to make things easier for them. All the information they need is easy to find and easy to read,” Mr Body said.

We believe that documents written in plain English are not just good for readers; they’re good for businesses, too — because readers have fewer unanswered questions and a better understanding, and because they feel more positive about the organisation.

We’re impressed with the commitment ANZ has made to its investors. Some financial institutions and their lawyers have argued that writing an investment statement in plain English is just not possible. ANZ has shown that the naysayers are wrong; investment statements can be clear.

For more about the WriteMark, see our FAQ.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making business writing better

Our WriteMark assessors like this recent blog from Bryan A. Garner for the Harvard Business Review. He talks about ways to connect with your reader and avoid sending them to sleep.

Read Bryan A. Garner's blogpost

The techniques he mentions are all tried and true fundamentals of plain language. And they match neatly with the language-related criteria of the WriteMark Plain English Standard.

Read about the WriteMark criteria

Writing in plain language helps you connect with your reader and get your message across — first time. Your readers will thank you for it.