I remember this line from one of the best PR books I read so far: Guerrilla PR Wired by Michael Levine.
I also remember I asked a candidate that had applied for the head of the Communications department of an NGO how to measure readability of a text. It was a notion I learned in Journalism classes.
It was a complicated question and it raised some eyebrows from my colleagues and also from the candidate. I foresaw some of the reactions, but I wanted to make a point: that sometimes the things that seem to matter the less can affect a whole bunch of things and in the end cripple the project.
At the end of the interview I was asked how much did the question weigh. Absolutely nothing.
After a few years, I started implementing and tracking my texts using the Flesch–Kincaid readability test. It is not as easy as one might think, because adding even a few words to the sentence can throw you out of the 60-70 score.
This is just a reminder that every time we expect people to buy our products, to quote our services or to approach us, they first have to read those few lines about what we have to offer them. And if those lines leave the reader exhausted as if he just finished 50 push-ups, he will take the easy way out and avoid any other trauma you might have installed.
At the end, here’s this guy’s endeavor to eliminate ambiguous language from our everyday life. Alan Siegel: Let’s simplify legal jargon!
Just for the sake of it, this text has a Flesch Reading Ease score of: 64.7