Clear Writing Support

CSR’s approach to the teaching and practice of clear writing includes plain language principles coupled with behavioral science theory so it is both clear and engaging to the audience. Our team includes instructors who currently teach courses at CDC University and are experienced in conducting spokesperson, risk communication, and clear writing training sessions. Our presentations will use evidence-based communication and persuasion frameworks such as McGuire’s Input-Output Matrix, and Cialdini’s Six Principles of Persuasion, Behavioral Economics, and Social Marketing. We also fold in best practices in audience segmentation. We will follow accepted practices in adult learning theory to provide clear, relevant, and actionable information so that participants have an opportunity to learn by doing. We will include easy-to-use aids to apply the lessons learned to real-life scenarios following the Clear Writing Summit, described below.

Clear Writing Summit

CSR assists any Agency in building its clear-writing capacity through the annual, 1-day Clear Writing Summit in Atlanta in the spring as well as in a monthly writing-related webinar series. CSR provides support for the Summit, including finding, booking, and coordinating two guest speakers. Each guest speaker will deliver a 75- to 90-minute customized presentation that includes audience participation and practice exercises. CSR designs and assembles packets and delivers them within 2 weeks of the Summit. Content may include an agenda, copies of plain language tip sheets, Q&As, and other guidance material.


CSR organizes a once-monthly webinar. In consultation with the COR, CSR selects and books the topics, dates, and times, so the entire series can be promoted. CSR provides advance information, such as the webinar description and outline, for Agency approval. For webinars that take place during the contract year, CSR will develop and revise slides and talking points using an Agency-approved template and allow sufficient time for internal approval and pre-clearance. The final slide deck will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the webinar. Our experience is that a thorough and realistic timetable for each Agency webinar from inception to execution is 8 to 12 weeks, and we provide a timetable for each event, listing dates and deadlines for both CSR and the Agency. CSR provide a promotion plan with up to six email announcements and up to six social media announcements for Agency use to promote each webinar. (We assume that application for Federal Relay service captioning and transcription, arrangements for provision of continuing education units, and 508- compliance of the slide-deck will be Agency’s responsibility.)

When creating webinars, we combine research-based, practical content with multiple interactive elements such as polling questions, “show of hands,” whiteboard exercises, and questions via chat at all times and via voice and chat at each webinar’s conclusion. To select topics, we provide information on the webinar audience’s needs as well as past webinar attendance and/or evaluation data. This step will support planning a logical progression of topics over time, where each webinar builds a foundation for the next month’s topic. We customized to fit the Agency’s needs: Developing Effective Messages; Behavior Change Communication; Persuasion Theories; Strategic Communication Planning; Writing Research Instruments (Qualitative or Quantitative); Visual and Infographic Communication; Secrets to a Solid Literature Review; Writing for Social Media; Writing Better Conference Presentations; Crafting Success Stories; Audience Segmentation, Targeting, and Tailoring; Crisis and Emergency Communication Basics; and a Time-Sensitive Scenario-Based Writing Drill that would involve an exercise that participants complete independently, either before or after a webinar. These meetings and events will require specialized software to streamline organization, set up virtual meetings, and send out surveys. CSR uses many of the following:


  • Communique Web Conferencing to set up conference calls and webinars
  • Webinars using GoToMeeting software with 50+ call-in lines
  • Survey Monkey Premier to create customized surveys for pre- and post-event analysis