We're indebted to Wiley Brooks on the Business2Community site for reminding us of Rudolph Flesch's tool for clear, brisk writing. Brooks reintroduces Flesch's algorithm tool in the context of crisis communication, but it applies to any writing requiring assured clarity, and what writing doesn't? Brook's sends us to his PR Writing Class site where you can click on "Tool," enter a block of text, click on "Get Results" and discover your Flesch score, the higher the better.
Rudolph Flesch, Brooks reminds us, was a lawyer and refugee from Nazi Germany who "earned a Ph.D. in English at Columbia University, and then became a prominent professor there." President Kennedy's "Ask Not..." quote earned a Flesch score of 100, the whole speec a 60, while best-selling New York Times novelists scored an average of 83 in one test. "Lawyers, who are almost always part of a crisis team, tend to write in the Flesch 20s and 30s," Brooks advises.
Rudolph Flesch is pictured with this post.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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