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FAQ Topic: Writing for public consumption

Use visuals!

See “Visuals” section below Visual aids help the presenter explain information more coherently and make learning easier for the audience. They also help add variety to presentations, thus making it more interesting for the audience. Avoid using hard-to-understand engineering sketches. Use photos, aerial images, photos of similar projects, mock designs to get the public to … Continued

Frequency of project updates

As they occur! Keep the public updated as we progress on projects, whether it is during design, the pre-bid phase, active construction, over even routine maintenance We want to make sure we are communicating with them while the news is still fresh and whenever new information arises If one page of the City’s website has … Continued

When writing a project update/information post…

Start from the beginning. Describe the project as if it was the first time someone was hearing about it. Always link to project page on DPW website if one exists. Always spell out acronyms. Where is the project? Be specific as possible about the geographic limits of the project Why is this project being done? How will … Continued

General writing guidelines

See Writing Style Guidelines Make sure language is easy to follow: No jargon terminology – define unknown terms Spell out acronyms The public are not technical experts, so assume you reader knows nothing Writing should be at a 9th grade reading level Use short sentences to break up large thoughts and make the information easier to … Continued

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