It was recently reported that staff at the Bank of England have studied the writing style of Dr. Seuss in an effort to make their communication more easily understood by the general public. They found that economists struggle to engage with the public due to their dry, logical manner and Dr. Seuss was a master in simple, enjoyable language.
At a recent CIPR Influence Live event hosted by the School of Life, we were reminded of the importance of creating 'wonder' when we are storytelling and in particular thinking of how we can ignite this sense of 'wonder' in the reader. Whether this reader be a child, a journalist or a client, we must consider any personal bias, the audience and the context in which they may read it. Or, as the Bank of England has realised, sometimes it is just as simple as reconsidering the language we use!
After all “the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” - Dr. Seuss
Technocratic institutions such as central banks are struggling with a wave of political populism, which favours policy-making based on emotions rather than evidence, Minouche Shafik said. Shafik said that economists often fail to engage with politicians and the public because of their dry, logical manner, and should do more to tell stories. "Most experts need to challenge themselves," said Shafik, "they must maintain quality standards and also embrace uncertainty." Paul Romer said that “everyone in the Bank should work toward producing prose that is clear and concise. This will save time and effort for a reader," in remarks reported by The Guardian. "Thinking about the reader is an example of what I mean when I say that we should develop our sense of empathy,” he said.