Unleash the power of plain language to focus on the future

I am a digital native.

I am loyal.

Once I trust you, I am seven times more likely to give you my personal information.

Who am I?

I am a Millennial — born between 1980 and 2003 (also known as Gen Y). That makes me somewhere between 13 and 36 years old today.

Clarity2016 speakers have the skinny on Millennials

Meghan Codd Walker and Deanna Lorianni of US-based Zuula Consulting have uncovered the nitty-gritty about communicating with this sometimes-maligned generation. They presented their findings at Clarity2016 — an international plain language conference held in New Zealand in November.

By 2025, three-quarters of the workforce will be Millennials. And, according to Meghan and Deanna,  they will have US$2.45 trillion in spending power.

Millennials are more ambitious than we might think. They expect transparency, immediacy, reliability, and simplicity. They jump across devices and can quickly scrutinise content. They value authenticity and can quickly spot a fake. They expect good corporate citizenship and will support social causes. Once their trust has been earned, they are extremely loyal.

Image, man shouting into tin can telephone.

Am I coming through? Plain language helps build trust with Millennials. Image by Gratisography / CC0

Be flexible, be authentic, be human

Deanna and Meghan have proven advice for reaching and retaining Millennial readers.

Embrace mobile

Use a clear, attractive design that works across all devices. Integrate content to support one experience. Build in clear paths for readers to follow.

Avoid mimicking the competition

Millennials value authenticity. Say what you mean and back it up. Demonstrate your brand values and match your voice with your brand. Be clear and compelling.

Avoid corporate-speak and legalese

Strike a conversational tone and anticipate that readers may be distracted. Use plain language, frequent headings and bullets, and include straightforward calls to action. Write like a human being.

Improve your writing skills with a Write workshop in the New Year

Being clear, concise, and human are what Write’s writing workshops are all about.

Register here if you need to refresh or learn new effective business writing skills.

Meghan and Deanna are co-chairs of the annual ClearMark Awards held by the Center for Plain Language in the United States.

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