Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Winner: People’s Choice — Worst ‘Brainstrain’ Communication 2018

The Companies Office

Tracey Yearbury from the Companies Office and judge Matt Huntington. Photo by Rebecca McMillan.

Document name

Companies Office Societies and Trusts Online

Judges’ comment

This form illustrates why structure and design are crucial parts of plain English communication. Although the form does not force its readers to sift through large amounts of complex text, it is still hard to use due to the disorganised and visually unappealing way it presents its information.

The necessity of this expensive-to-produce animated guide speaks volumes about the poor design of the form. I hope the form is redesigned and the guide becomes redundant, because this is an important function and society officers deserve better.

Acceptance speech

We’re going on a journey back in time. Back 15 years in fact to 2003.

The TV show Friends was still watched by hundreds of thousands of us every week.  Rachel’s hair was officially a thing.

NCIS and 2 and a Half Men had just aired their first episodes.

The Black Eyed Peas were asking “Where is the Love?”

The internet had just become a viable business tool and the CO had just launched it’s Incorporated Societies website.

In fact, NZ was the first country in the world to launch self-service registers and my goodness it shows in the now 15 year old Incorporated Societies website.

The good news is that we are about half way through refreshing our 21 registers – and Incorporated Societies your turn is next!

This is great news for the largely volunteer base of officers of Incorporated Societies who it is often said are the backbone of heartland New Zealand.

And, a superb opportunity for us to include extra functionality, such as a Rules Builder tool that will make creating a constitution for your club much easier.

If you are an officer of a club and you would like to be part of our reference group for the new Incorporated Societies website, please introduce yourself to me tonight.

Tracey Yearbury

Companies Office Societies and Trusts Online