Communication minute: Plain English

Did the feline position itself horizontally on the floor covering, or did the cat just sit on the mat?

Plain English, or Plain Language, is a term used to describe writing that’s easy to understand. It’s the opposite of gobbledygook.

Communicating is about the sharing of meaning, so it makes sense to write clearly and in a way that’s easy to understand. Documents that are hard, or impossible, to comprehend fail the basic test of communication.

The principles of Plain English are: avoid unneeded words; write in short sentences; and use the shortest possible word that conveys your meaning.

It’s not about dumbing down your writing – it’s about making your point clearly.

It takes time and practice to write in Plain English. As Mark Twain once said: “I’d have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time”.

For more information see:

The Plain English Campaign, UK.

Plain Language Australia.

My Post Graduate Writing Unit: Public Relations Writing and Tactics, Deakin University (available for online study).

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Communication minute: Tips for a killer speech

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Communication minute: Non-verbal communication

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Communication minute: Communication versus communications

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The ABCs of surviving (and thriving) in a PR degree

Alison Coffa completed a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) this year, majoring in Public Relations and Journalism. She is now working as an Account Executive in a boutique Melbourne PR agency. Follow her on Twitter at @AlisonClareC .

Surviving a PR degree is as simple as ABC.

Surviving a PR degree is as simple as ABC.

A – Aim high. The phrase ‘Ps get degrees’ gets thrown around a lot at university. While it’s true you can technically graduate by simply scraping through each of your subjects, you will set yourself up for a better theoretical knowledge and practical understanding if you knuckle down and do some reading every now and then. It will also help you keep on the good side of your tutors and lecturers. Making yourself noticed among a cohort of 100+ students can be difficult, so having a faculty staff member recognise your efforts can be a huge bonus. Continue reading

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What’s the value of good brand?

What’s the value of a good brand? To answer that question Aisha Kellaway travels to London to attend Brand Academy 2013. Follow Aisha on Twitter: @AishaKellaway

AS public relations professionals and students we understand our integral role in the representation of the brands that we work with; but how much do we know about the value of these brands, and the things we can do to ensure that this brand-value continues to increase?

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Shoot better video with your smartphone

If you own a smartphone, you carry a video recording studio around in your pocket. Here are some tips to get the most from it.

SHOOTING video with your smartphone is pretty easy. Shooting great video with your smartphone is slightly harder, but it is possible with some practice.

Vimeo Video School has some great tutorials including this one for mobile video:

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Tracking QR Code Clicks

Want to know how many people scanned your QR code? This video tutorial will help.

Tracking QR Codes from the MediaPod on Vimeo.

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2014 PR Student Forum date set

The date for the 2014 PR Student Forum has been set. Get ready for a fantastic 4th Annual PR Student Forum.

The 2014 PR Student Forum will be held at Victoria University 2 October 2014. The theme for the Forum is “Social and mobile PR Communication”. If you missed this year’s Forum, here’s a recap: Continue reading

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Public Relations, Activism, and Social Change

Deakin University Associate Professor Kristin Demetrious, author of Public Relations, Activism, and Social Change, discusses the future of public communication and public relations.
This interview was originally posted at www.routledge.com

What prompted you to write this book?

‘Spin’ is one of the most lamented aspects of modern society: the exaggeration, the puffery, the blinding obfuscation and the trickery of words. Sometimes it’s like a mouth full of fairy floss, sweet and sickly, other times it can be brutal, ugly and searing. Journalists hate it, the public is bewildered and angry about it – but no one really can say what on earth it is with any certainty or how to arrest the debasement of public debate. What we do know it that it is socially divisive, politically offensive and needs to change. Continue reading

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