Plain English training builds sustainability
Without internal skills and a change in culture, your plain-language efforts won’t last long.
Most companies start to simplify their content by bringing in contractors or consultants to review and rewrite. At first, things go well, and the new versions are far better than the old ones. But without a culture of fair, transparent, and consumer-focused communication throughout the company, content either:
- never makes it through the full review process
- gets published, but very quickly deteriorates back into the complex versions
Training helps to make plain English part of your company culture
This way, each round of changes makes things more simple, not more complex. Stakeholders have a common understanding of what plain English is – and everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
Plain English training helps to bridge the gap between technical departments (legal, financial, product development) and content design, marketing, sales and communications.
Who should attend plain English training
Organisations should invest in plain English training for anyone who writes internal or external content. This includes:
- Customer service teams writing customer support emails
- Marketers promoting complex products and services
- Lawyers writing opinions or giving advice
- Compliance professionals writing reviews or policies
- Salespeople writing proposals or invitations
- Investment or other professionals writing reports
- Content designers and UX professionals
Plain English training can focus on one or more of these types of content:
- contracts or terms and conditions
- brochures, whether online or in print
- payment content, statements and online transnational content
- customer support and help content
- brochures and sales materials
- online flows, such as acquisitions or complaints
What to look for in a plain English training course
Plain English training courses cover not only how to write in plain English, but also how to plan and structure your content. They should also include visual elements and accessibility.
Make sure that your trainer:
- has experience in your industry
- knows the difference between readability scores and more strategic approaches to plain English
- has clear modules and outcomes for each learning point
- can customise your learning materials to make them relevant to you