Give These Guys Some Web Writing Training – Please!
Thoughts on the poor quality apology email received re. the revamped Government e-tenders site:
If anyone knows who is behind this piece of poor communication can you please tell them I offer my services FOR FREE to help them improve how they write? Whether you are writing for a mass email (as in this case), for Twitter (140 chars) or for your website, there are certain techniques to ensure you will be read.
2. Don’t let the lawyers run the show.
Online writing takes place in the first person or in the first person plural… “We are sorry” would be better than
“The National Procurement Service (NPS) acknowledges and apologises…” And words like ‘notwithstanding’ are just uncool and make me feel a little queasy.
3. Numbers to the top please.
When communicating dates or prices, they should leap out at the reader, not remain cramped in beside archaic language. Am making the big assumption here that they actually want to clarify the big mess?
Run that communication through a Flesch Kincaid tracker and the score is a whopping 39.4 – that means someone needs 39.4 years of American grade school education in order to understand it. I can honestly say this is the highest score (ie. worst piece of writing) I have ever come across.
Here is how the above communication should have been written:
Upgrade to eTenders: Important Dates For Public Sector Suppliers
It has come to our attention that you have not been receiving email alerts on live tenders since 12 November. This is due to a website upgrade with new functionality that has not been communicated properly. We would like to apologise if you have experienced delays in accessing the system or with the Helpdesk.
The website upgrade is intended to provide additional functionality that will assist you in the tendering process. It will allow you to be much more specific about the types of tenders you receive email alerts about, and to save you time.
On Monday 19 November – you will receive a guide on the new service, with detail on how to update your profile.
What to do then:
- Log in to the new etenders website, click on edit profile, and fill in the keywords that best describe your business.
- Government tenders that include your keywords will be sent to you as an email alert.
- When you have updated your profile, you will receive alerts on all live tenders that have been published since Monday 12 November.
Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the inconvenience these issues may have caused. We are treating this as a priority and will have them resolved as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience.
Mr “I Have A Name”, Head of National Procurement Service, Dublin
15 November 2012.
I scored 8.7 for my one. I’m serious – I will happily give the writer of this offending email a FREE session in how to write for web – if he or she steps forward and claims it. I’m here and I’m waiting to take your call!