The value of clarity
We are proud to announce that, as of today, we can display the Internet Crystal Mark logo on our website – the Plain English Campaign’s seal of approval. In this article, commercial director Carolyn Lord explains why clarity matters.
At Anglia Research our business relies on communication. It is vital that we provide beneficiaries with all the information they need in a form that’s readily accessible and easy to digest.
Given that most people nowadays use the internet as their primary means of gathering information, our website has to be clear, comprehensive and easy to navigate.
However, as we expanded our online presence, we faced a number of challenges. Beneficiaries who are suddenly plunged into the world of probate research often find themselves drowning in jargon. After all, who uses the words ‘intestacy’, ‘probate’ – or even ‘beneficiary’ – in everyday life?
Nevertheless, these are very specific legal terms and we need to use them.
We also faced the problem that we had to provide a great deal of information while at the same time keeping website navigation simple – somewhat contradictory aims.
We were guided by the 7 Cs of communication. Everything on our website should be clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous.
But did we meet our own criteria? We decided that the best way to check was to ask the Plain English Campaign to assess our website.
The Plain English Campaign is an independent body that has been campaigning against gobbledygook and jargon since 1979. It has played an important role in improving the way public bodies and businesses communicate with citizens and clients.
Their review of our site was positive, and they also helped us with a number of useful recommendations which we plan to implement over the next few months.
It was important to us to achieve the Internet Crystal Mark. It represents our commitment to clarity. More than that, it represents our commitment to acting with honesty and integrity. Vagueness, generalities and truth-burying circumlocutions often mask deception or incompetence. You can’t check and refute them. Clear language and concrete commitments, on the other hand, can be held to account.
Ultimately, that’s why clarity matters.
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Anglia Research and Anglia Research Services are trading names of Anglia Research Services Limited, a company registered in England and Wales: no. 05405509
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