Tools for texts (on your intranet)

tools4textMany communicators complain that employees do not read corporate news. So they demand more space on the intranet homepage and newsletter functionality to make the news more visible.

I generally suggest them to measure the readability of their news articles first, using the Flesch Reading Ease test. Especially in multinational companies it is extremely important to write in a simple style. You want to reach all employees, including those who are not too fluent in English. And all too often, I find that corporate texts are simply too complicated!

I have recently written a guest blog on this topic on Wedge’s Kilobox Communiqué, suggesting various ways to make your corporate (and other) content easy to read for a diverse audience.

More tools!
The Flesch Reading Ease test is an easy tool to measure readability. Since I discovered it, I have been fascinated by tools that apply “hard” mathematics to “soft” language,  and come up with something useful!  I have found several tools that “do something” with your text. Some give your text a numerical score, others provide other insight in your use of language, or they convert your texts. There is a small collection on Scoop.it, for your learning and amusement. A few highlights:

If you have any other suggestions for my collection, fun or serious, please let me know!

Image courtesy of hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Title inspired by  1979’s song “Cool for Cats” by Squeeze.

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2 thoughts on “Tools for texts (on your intranet)

  1. Andrew Gilleran August 22, 2013 / 12:42 pm

    Great article Ellen.
    Hadn’t heard of the Flesch readability test at all. Very interesting. You can also set it up in MS Word 2010 quite easily too. File > Options > Proofing and then run a spell check.

    Here’s another tool from the Plain English Campaign in the UK which focuses on similar areas especially jargon, types of words and sentence lenght.

    http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/drivel-defence.html

    • Ellen van Aken August 22, 2013 / 1:19 pm

      Hi Andrew, thank you! Yes, I always use the Flesch Readability Index in Word; I started using it since the Intranet Benchmarking Forum taught me about it. And the Drivel Defence is in my collection, it is a great tool, and I love their Gobbledygook generator…:-)

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