Campaign celebrates best ever awards ceremony (20 December 2007)

Plain English Campaign supporters spent the weekend celebrating the success of their ‘best ever’ awards ceremony.

Around 400 guests attended the event. They were treated to a brilliant presentation from top comedian and TV personality Lenny Henry and the campaign’s John Wild.
Award winners from leading national and international media organisations rubbed shoulders with government officials and company representatives.

Highlights from the ceremony included an acceptance speech from top BBC Radio Devon presenter Judi Spiers. Judi delivered her speech in broad ‘Devonian’ to huge applause. But the biggest cheer of the ceremony was reserved for International Media Award winner Bruce Hill, of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Flying in from Australia to receive his award in person, he ripped into jargon peddlers and gobbledygook gabblers without mercy. But he did so with typical Australian good humour.

The story of the Golden Bull winners and the award of the ‘Foot in Mouth Award’ to Steve McClaren went worldwide. Newspapers and radio stations in New York, China, Canada, South Africa and Australia took up the story along with the biggest names in the UK media reaching a possible maximum radio and TV audience of around 26 million.

Campaign supporters reported a record number of ‘hits’ on the www.plainenglish.co.uk – nearly 200, 000 in one twenty – four hour period.

According to press officer Steve Jenner, this is only part of the story, though. ‘The Steve McClaren story may have grabbed the headlines. But importantly, it gave us an opportunity to highlight the good work of the Inside Write and Plain English Award winners. These are often government departments, companies and not – for – profit organisations who are rightly criticised when things go wrong. Unfortunately, they are rarely praised for the good things they do. It is a positive aspect of our work that we were able to praise the work of these organisations before millions of people.’

Plain English Campaign Award winners 2007
‘Plain English’ category (for the year’s clearest documents)

  • Liverpool Housing Trust for their ‘Pictorial Tenancy Agreement’
  • Stockport Women’s Aid for their ‘Advice booklet’
  • CO-Awareness for their ‘Carbon Monoxide Poisoning’ leaflet
  • The Prostate Cancer Charity for two information booklets
  • Alistair McIntosh for ‘A guide to surveyors’ jargon’
  • Chancery Group for the ‘Cephalon employee benefits’ booklet

Inside Write category (for clear internal government documents)

  • Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (MOD) for the ‘Distil’ newspaper
  • Department for Children, Schools and Families for ‘feedback’ magazine
  • National School of Government for their ‘Joining the Civil Service’ handbook
  • Forestry Commission for the ‘Operational Guidance Booklets’
  • DVLA for ‘Licence’ magazine
  • Driving Standards Agency for the ‘Make a difference conferences 2007’ booklet
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