Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team

Andy Baldwin, WineWorks Marlborough

Judges’ comments

Andy clearly demonstrates a passion for plain English. This passion is apparent in his submission, in the work that he has done at WineWorks, and in his reported interactions with his colleagues as champion for plain language. This type of passion is catching. It is infectious. At the end of the day his positivity is great for the cause of plain English.

Media statement

At WineWorks we have a culture of ‘continuous improvement’ and my role in the business focuses on this. When I started a project to improve the format of our standard operating procedures, I realised how poorly they were written, in very formal language, and in a way that confused the reader and made it hard to find information. I wanted to take a plain English approach. I wanted the documents to be accessible and understandable for our readers — the people doing the work. So first I had to learn how to write.

This turned out to be a much bigger beast than I anticipated so I enlisted some help and formed a team. I began to study plain English and promote it within the organisation, presenting my ideas to managers and directors. Like any movement it took time to get momentum but once we achieved ‘critical mass’ people began asking me to teach them how to write better. I think this is the biggest compliment of all. Now we have people throughout WineWorks writing and using great plain English SOPs in their daily work. This is improving our processes and helps to up-skill our teams.

Being nominated for this award and representing WineWorks in the finals is something I feel very proud of. It means recognition of the standards we are trying to achieve and is great motivation to achieve more.”

Andy Baldwin

WineWorks Marlborough