As Albert Einstein is often quoted to have said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. This phrase was posted around the newsroom when I worked as a journalist as a reminder that everything we wrote had to be easily understood by our readers.
While it’s a sentiment I agree with, it’s not necessarily always the case. There are times when a more formal writing style is required, for example university assignments, technical journals and some official reports.
But in a news release, statement for broadcast, a tweet or Facebook status the tone should generally be less formal and more conversational.
Rather than hiding behind long words, jargon and convoluted sentence structures, think how you would explain the story to a friend in the pub. But that doesn’t mean using lots of slang or colloquialisms.
Finding your voice and establishing tone is important. You need to think about not just the message you want to convey but who your audience is and the medium via which they will receive your message.
If your sentences seem long, try reading what you have written aloud. That way you will get a feel of how it would be read by your target audience.
And if all else fails, tell us what you want to say and we’ll do the rest. From drafting press releases, preparing speeches or tweeting your company news we can help you reach your audience.