Center for Plain Language Seeks Submissions from Finance and Business in Two Categories:
WonderMark (worst) and ClearMark (best) Awards
WHAT For years, corporations and the government have confused and confounded the public with complex and often unnecessary information. Today, strides are being made to change this situation.
For those documents and websites that have succeeded in communicating clearly and for those that still have a long way to go, the Center for Plain Language (www.centerforplainlanguage.org) seeks nominations for the national ClearMark Awards. The 2011 ClearMark Awards have two categories: the ClearMark Awards honor clear communication; and the WonderMark Awards recognize unclear communication.
WHO Anyone may nominate an entry for either award. Entries can be submitted by the author, the office or organization that originated the entry, or even a reader or a user.
FEE Entry fee for the ClearMark Awards: $100; $75 for Center members and government agencies. All WonderMark submissions are FREE.
WHEN Submissions will be accepted to February 4, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
For an application: www.centerforplainlanguage.org/awards .
EVENT The Center will announce award recipients at the ClearMark Awards ceremony on April 28, 2010, in Washington, D.C. For an application: www.centerforplainlanguage.org/awards .
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Plain Language is a national nonprofit that advocates for clear and understandable communication in government, nonprofits, businesses.
I recently complained on Twitter about this headline originating from a company that consults on plain language projects:
“Driving a positive customer experience across touch points”
Matthew Stibbes is now holding a contest for best and worst headlines.
He also provides us with a brief list of qualities of good headlines:
BBC News’ headlines are the best in the world according to web-usability guru Jakob Nielsen. Nielsen’s guidelines state that web headlines must be:
2.Rich in information scent, clearly summarising the target article
3.Front-loaded with the most important keywords
4.Understandable out of context (because headlines often appear without articles, as in search engine results);
5.Predictable, so users know whether they’ll like the full article before they click
Personally, I find headlines and subheads very challenging to write but I appreciate them as a reader.
The 2008-2009 NIH Plain Language Award Ceremony will be held Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 1:00 p.m. Lipsett Auditorium, Bethesda, Maryland and will feature Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Capehart, editorial writer for The Washington Post.
The annual NIH Plain Language Award ceremony honors outstanding NIH communication products including revised websites, fact sheets, multi-media presentations, and other materials, including items designed for Spanish-speaking audiences. To view the 2007-2008 event, see http://videocast.nih.gov/. For archived awards information: http://www.nih.gov/clearcommunication/plarchive/index.htm