Planning your message
Before you start to write, it is helpful to plan your message: what are you going to say? If you are clear about what you want to say, your final version will be clear and easy to understand.
An initial outline or plan will result in a better-organised piece of writing and will save time in the end. A plan will help you to be clear in your own mind why you are writing, who your readers are and what to include or exclude.
Before you start writing, you need to consider the following.
Who will read what you are writing?
How much do they know about this subject and what words and phrases will they understand?
The audience - is the document one for viewing by internal private groups, or for the wider public?
Why are you writing and what are you hoping to achieve?
Are you sending your readers important information, or are you trying to persuade them to do something for you?
What do you need to say?
What are the points that you want to make to your reader?
Is your message complex and if so how can you help your reader to understand it?
We need to be sure that we have made ourselves clear to those who will read what we have written. This will probably mean a different approach for different readers. We all need to ask ourselves, "Is what I have written likely to make a reader feel well disposed towards me, my department and Hampshire County Council?"