Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

Plain English content rewrite: July 2011

17 July, 2011 – Luke Oatham

We recently restructured some of our intranet sections and took the opportunity to do some plain English rewrites to the page content.

This example is from one of the guidance pages dealing with security when moving offices. The original is filled with passive voice and is afraid to give instructions. I’ve marked up in red.

Original copy

It is extremely important to consider the security aspects of an accommodation move and plan accordingly at an early stage. If potentially sensitive information or valuable equipment is being moved, Corporate Security Branch or agency security teams should be made aware at the earliest opportunity.

If any protectively marked assets (files, papers, or even lap-tops containing information marked RESTRICTED or above) or valuable assets are being moved, the following precautions need to be taken:

  • Transit crates should be used, items should be packed into them by the individuals having responsibility for the assets, and each crate should be sealed. Crates must be clearly marked with the destination in the new accommodation.

The use of commercial removal companies to transport protectively marked assets is acceptable, up to PROTECT. A security escort should remain with the vehicle whenever it contains protectively marked assets.

Corporate Security Branch can advise further on any aspect of this guidance.

(154 words)

Plain English copy rewrite

Think about security when you start to plan an office move.

If you plan to move potentially sensitive information or valuable equipment, tell Corporate Security Branch or agency security teams as soon as possible. If you plan to move any protectively marked or valuable assets (files, papers, laptops containing information marked RESTRICTED or above), then you must use a transit crate. Pack the assets that you have responsibility for. Seal the crate and clearly mark the destination.

You can use commercial removal companies to transport protectively marked assets up to PROTECT. A security escort should stay with the vehicle whenever it contains protectively marked assets.

Contact Corporate Security Branch for more information.

Learn more about protective marking.

(117 words)

The rewritten piece is shorter, more instructional and gives useful links to related information.

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