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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Front-load important information in your communication | PJ Doland, Unclutterer

Have you ever been really excited when you start reading a job-opening announcement (or any kind of announcement), and it sounds perfect to you? And then you near the end and discover a significant requirement you can't meet?

This article describes just that, where fluency in Spanish came near the end of a job description.

Doland provides a rewritten announcement that won't waste the time and emotions of job-seekers.

The article concludes (emphasis added):

By front-loading important information — whatever it may be — you show respect for other people’s time by giving them the ability to make an early exit. Unless you’re M. Night Shyamalan, this principle can probably be applied to all your writing. It can also be applied to voice mails  where if the person didn't get your telephone number upon first listen he can go back and only listen to the first few seconds of it again to retrieve what he needs.
This principle is especially notable in news writing--the "lead" paragraph in an "inverted pyramid." But like Doland, I believe it's effective for all writing, especially writing for the Web and persuasive writing. It's also a key principle in plain language.

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Doland's article is featured today, Jan. 16, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Simple Dreams, available at the Simplicity tab above and by free email superscription.


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