Hit the Nail on its Head


 In our daily life, we often want to convey some message to someone. But we communicate in a different way and it’s taken in a different way. So our purpose doesn’t meet at the end. Let me illustrate this with an anecdote.

In my office, there is a community team which helps to literate rural children, builds houses for the needy people and so on. Recently there was a flood in AP and Karnataka. So our community team sent an e-mail to everybody requesting to drop one rupee for every cup of coffee/tea we take.

Quite simple and straight rite…? I also thought like that. But what happened was the core of this post.  Read on.

Above mentioned e-mail was sent on Friday – end of a week, hardly people care about such announcements. As announced, a glossy plastic box was kept near the coffee/tea vending machine. Here is the message fixed over the box:

Drop-in for the community service

Now, let us see this message in Technical Writer point of view.

  1. Drop-in – what? Or where? Or when?
  2. Community service – what kind of service?

Quite ambiguous rite..? Now, let us rephrase the same message to be meaningful.

“Please drop minimum 1 Re coin for every cup of coffee/Tea you take. This money goes to Flood relief fund”.

  1. What/How much?  – Minimum 1 Rupee. Many kind hearts may drop more. why should we restrict them..?
  2. Some coffee/tea fans may sip more than a cup. So they may be willing to pay for the second time.
  3. Where it goes?  – This money goes to flood relief fund.

Now it is very unambiguous. Rite..?

Very few people convey their needs clearly. Many of us are still beating around the bush.

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