Blog

30 October, 2020

Implementation rules

It’s a truth for policy makers and theorists that good public policy is developed by way of a rational process. That research and evidence eclipse opinion and hearsay. That the insights of interested parties are used to stress test policy […]
30 October, 2020

Casting Donald into the darkness

Every 4 years, voters in the United States voluntarily select their president. Since 1845 the presidential election has happened on the first Tuesday after 1 November. This year, the election date is 3 November 2020. A constant theme of Agora […]
30 October, 2020

Legal writing can be clear

A little background. The Lincoln Project is a team of conservative Republicans that is waging a ferocious, creative and hyper-intelligent campaign against President Trump and the vicious brood that makes up his administration. Part guerrilla war, part psychological operation, part […]
30 October, 2020

Blackwhite – November

Notice to readers. Understanding that no finer example of Blackwhite has been or will be published, we reprint this presidential proclamation in full. You can view it at: www.whitehouse.gov. October 16, 2020 National Character Counts Week, 2020 by the President […]
30 October, 2020

Start 2021 in style with our virtual program

On 11 and 12 November 2020, our free guided tour of the Australian Government Style Manual, ‘The essentials of Australian Government writing style’ is completely booked. We’re running one more free session on 21–22 January 2021, numbers are limited so […]
30 October, 2020

TRUST is published

Chris Hammer is an Australian author who joined us last month to talk about writing style. You can hear what he had to say here. His new book TRUST is now available online or at good bookstores.
29 October, 2020

Plain language writing is good. Keep saying it.

Clear writing in plain language, compared with dull bureaucratese, is quicker to write, easier to read, and gets your message across better. That can mean serious savings of time and money.  For example, Ethos CRS estimated that productivity gains in […]
27 October, 2020

Effective government communication – it’s all about readability

Literacy has a profound effect on people’s lives, in particular, their ability to effectively interact with government and participate fully in society. It is a difficult skill to define, let alone measure, especially in a fast-paced digital environment where mass […]
22 October, 2020

10 key takeaways from our webinar on clear writing

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up with Ethos CRS October webinar on clear writing, with Kate Wall, Chas Savage, Dr Amanda Laugesen and Chris Hammer, here are 10 key takeaways: The point of writing clearly is to […]
20 October, 2020

Government communication in the age of social media

The rapid technological changes that have occurred over the past few decades are creating unique challenges for governments everywhere, transforming how they communicate and engage with citizens In this changing world, how do governments develop responsive, effective information campaigns, while […]
19 October, 2020

It’s okay to use the passive voice. Just make sure you know why.

One of the best known rules of plain language writing is ‘Avoid the passive voice’. As George Orwell said, wagging his finger sternly: ‘Never use the passive when you can use the active.’  Really? Not at all? Not one teensy-weensy […]
14 October, 2020

Government doesn’t deserve a capital

If I want to say ‘the government is up to no good’, should I use a capital ‘g’ for government? Not according to the new Australian Government Style Manual.  But there’s a capital ‘G’ in the previous sentence, so when […]
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