Business writing superskills for content strategists and authors
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Contented newsletter

Contented #38: News for content authors

Accredited CPD training for all professions plus a special offer

The CPD Standards Office in London has accredited all our certificates and diplomas.

You can now use Contented online certificates and diplomas as part of your continuing professional development (CPD). 

They’ve all been accredited by the independent, international CPD Standards Office based in London. 

What's your profession? Chartered accountant, engineer, lawyer, teacher, psychiatrist, financial manager, web developer, health worker, IT practitioner, minister of religion?

You are probably registered with a professional body that monitors standards, and requires you to record your learning every year.

Most CPD is specific to a profession — but every professional needs standard business writing skills (e.g. writing plain English or writing reports). And almost everyone needs new communication skills (e.g. blog and web writing, or managing social media).

We would love to help you right now:

  • If you need a few more useful CPD hours
  • If your organisation is looking for accredited CPD programmes in business communication.

Earn 5 hours CPD with the Certificate in Business Writing: half price for 7 days

Earn 5 CPD hours with the Certificate in Business Writing: now half price

5 reasons to enrol for the Certificate in Business Writing right now:

  1. Learn how to write clear, concise business reports and documents for your non-technical audiences.
  2. Complete 5 short online courses and earn 5 hours accredited CPD in 21st century communication skills.
  3. Log in from anywhere and learn at your own pace: start your study any time within 12 months of purchase.
  4. Enrol for just half price in the next 7 days (until Wed 12 Nov).
  5. Keep Rachel’s wonderful new e-book by your side, Business Writing Plus

    This brilliant handbook was used by over 2000 chartered accountants for CPD in Australasia in the last year. It covers both traditional writing skills and the extra writing skills required by all professionals in this digital age.

Accessibility audits: book our experts now

Accessibility experts who know how to use the new self-assessment spreadsheet

Time is running out: the latest deadline for making NZ government web sites accessible is coming up fast. Many agencies tell us they don’t have the expertise or hardware to test compliance.

NZ’s most experienced accessibility experts lead Contented accessibility projects: Nic Steenhout, Kevin Prince and Lynne Pope each have 10+ years' experience in this field. Contented is on the NZ Common Web Services Panel and has already completed a significant number of audits against the NZ Standards, using the latest self-assessment spreadsheet.

Trust the experts: we can make it happen on time and on target.

Contact Alice for an accessibility quote today

Writing tip: check web content for readability

Readability is one easy-to-test aspect of accessibility.

  • Find an app you like and keep using the same one. 
  • We recommend easy to use, and can test cut-and-pasted text, URLs and PDF files. 
  • Don’t use MS Office’s readability checker: it’s deeply flawed.
  • Test plain text only. For best results exclude lists, headings, headers, tables.
  • Get familiar with one simple test — and use it. Never mind the others.

Let's assume your web site is intended for the general public, not a specialist audience. With the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test, a score of 70 means 70% of adults are likely to understand the text. Under 60 is too difficult, but 100 is not the ideal score: that would suit a kindergarten reader.

News about happiness, iPad-friendly courses, and time management

Rachel spoke at the Dare Conference, London 2014
Rachel gave ‘the talk of her life’ at the Dare Conference 2014, in London, then spent 3 weeks on a DIY writer-in-residence at the British Library.

You can watch Rachel's extraordinary talk on growing older, entitled "Life is long: find happiness now". Be warned, you'll need to set aside 25 minutes, but I promise you, it's worth it!
I held the fort for 6 weeks. in Rachel's absence, my big goals were a website refresh and moving our courses into a tablet-friendly format. Both of these are now close to their launch dates.

Our time apart has led to an arrangement for better time management. We'll pretend Rachel is AWOL for 2-3 days a week so she can focus on creating our new Certificate in Technical Writing.

Our wish for you this month: be contented — find happiness now right under your nose.

Have a safe and happy Guy Fawkes.

Alice Hearnshaw's signature 

PS And don't forget our 7-day offer: 50% off the Certificate in Business Writing plus book
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