Public engagement can be tricky. But there are some important basics that can simplify strategies. Dr. Neil James, Executive Director of Plain English Foundation, offers specific strategies that can help you have a better outcome.
Immigration and Border Protection Secretary Michael Pezzullo prescribed four concrete strategies to improve the public sector. One was to “communicate clearly” in a way that is “clear, crisp, meaningful and expressive”.
Unfortunately, these terms are rather open to interpretation. Language that is meaningful to one person may not be clear and crisp to another, let alone expressive. We need to define these criteria in a more tangible way, and then we need to take them much further.
According to James public officials should: 1) Start with words, 2) Reform the structure, 3) Update the design, and 4) Evaluate the outcomes.
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Contributor: Brian Stewart, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP Candidate ’17.