Spreading the word:
experiences of writing
a plain-language newsletter
Sarah Carr, 13 October 2010
Introducing Pikestaff
• Free e-newsletter of 2,000–2,500 words
• Written by me, edited by Martin Cutts
• Started January 2...
PROCESS method
PLC’s five-stage approach to writing:
• Purpose
• Content
• Structure
• Style and language
• Revision of ev...
Purpose
• What you want to achieve
• Target readers
• Title and logo
• Frequency and timing
• Method of distribution
• Pro...
Content
• Overall length
• Article types and lengths
• Regular slots
• Encouraging contributions from others
• Ensuring fa...
Structure
• Organising topics and items
• Navigational aids
• Graphics
• Layout and design
Style
• Language used
• Explaining technical jargon
• Ensuring accuracy
Revision of everything
• Editing and proofreading
• Dealing with any errors that slip through
For more information
• To subscribe to Pikestaff, visit
www.clearest.co.uk and click on ‘Newsletter’.
• To contact me, ema...
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Spreading the word: experiences of writing a plain-language newsletter - Sarah Carr

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In January 2007, Plain Language Commission (PLC) launched a free monthly e-newsletter, Pikestaff. By the time of the conference, we had published over 40 issues, distributed to around 2,000 customers, colleagues and others.
This session described our experiences of producing Pikestaff, using as a framework the PROCESS method (PLC’s five-stage approach to writing).

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Spreading the word: experiences of writing a plain-language newsletter - Sarah Carr

  1. 1. Spreading the word: experiences of writing a plain-language newsletter Sarah Carr, 13 October 2010
  2. 2. Introducing Pikestaff • Free e-newsletter of 2,000–2,500 words • Written by me, edited by Martin Cutts • Started January 2007 • Have now published 41 issues • Emailed to 2,000 customers and colleagues • Reader survey completed summer 2010
  3. 3. PROCESS method PLC’s five-stage approach to writing: • Purpose • Content • Structure • Style and language • Revision of everything
  4. 4. Purpose • What you want to achieve • Target readers • Title and logo • Frequency and timing • Method of distribution • Promoting the publication
  5. 5. Content • Overall length • Article types and lengths • Regular slots • Encouraging contributions from others • Ensuring factual accuracy • Archiving content
  6. 6. Structure • Organising topics and items • Navigational aids • Graphics • Layout and design
  7. 7. Style • Language used • Explaining technical jargon • Ensuring accuracy
  8. 8. Revision of everything • Editing and proofreading • Dealing with any errors that slip through
  9. 9. For more information • To subscribe to Pikestaff, visit www.clearest.co.uk and click on ‘Newsletter’. • To contact me, email sarahcarr@carrconsultancy.co.uk. • For further reading, try Producing Successful Magazines, Newsletters and e-Zines, by Carol Harris, How To Books, 2004.

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