If we show clarity and compassion when writing about health, it’s more likely that people will listen.
When a person makes a decision relating to their health, they need content that’s both accurate and empathetic. The principles and tools of plain language can help to create health information that makes a difference.
During the pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of poor information around the world, including:
- sensationalist headlines and incorrect information
- a confusion between opinion and public health messaging
- language that is either too technical or too emotional
- frightening information presented in an unclear and uncompassionate way
How plain language can help
When we help governments and businesses to give health information, we focus on the outcome that we want. We ask ourselves how we can use our content to encourage positive health outcomes. This means that:
- we write for the the readability level of the target audience, and take into account their level of English and literacy
- we fact check each piece of information and make sure that we understand the regulations
- we use a proper process to decide when to use scientific jargon and when to use more colloquial terms
Simplified trains health communicators how to:
- plan and structure documents in a reader-focused way
- use the active voice and simple sentences
- give users the information they need to make informed decisions