11 easy ways to write more clearly

Regardless of your audience, you can help readers grasp and retain your message. Try these techniques.

Ragan Insider Content

We can always improve the readability of our copy.

Ann Wylie of Wylie Communications cites the book “What Makes a Book Readable” by William S. Gray and Bernice Leary to describe the four aspects of readability:

I want to use this framework to offer some best practices to improve the readability of your copy:

Content

Wylie describes content as “arguments, structure and coherence.” For PR copy, this has a few facets: What, where and why you are writing all influence how you’ll structure your copy.

1. Let the platform dictate (some) structure.

Though most people use the introduction/body/conclusion structure to organize their copy, platforms can dictate what you say where. A good example would be Twitter, where you’re limited to 140 characters—though your goal should be fewer than 110 if you want to be retweeted. Also, you can include more information in an email pitch to a journalist than in a phone message.

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