thinkstep-anz wins three Plain Language Awards


We’re excited to win three awards in the 2022 Plain Language Awards (New Zealand and Australia):

  • Best Plain Language Document – Private Sector (for this nutshell case study for two of our clients)
    • Read the judge's comments – 'It demonstrates simplicity, use of plain language, supportive graphics, and excellent design'
  • Best Plain Language Technical Communicator (for our integrated report, Need to Know Guides, sustainability glossary and these client documents: the plain English executive summaries on our technical reports and our nutshell case studies).

The Awards, run by the WriteMark Plain English Awards Trust, recognise Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia’s plain language champions. 

thinkstep-anz at the Plain Language Awards. David Klein (Senior Sustainability Communicator), Hannah Schickedanz (Senior Graphic Designer) and Matthias Nebel (Director Strategy, IT & Communication). Photo by Jess O'Brien  


Helping decision-makers understand and act on our technical findings

‘We’re thrilled to have won three awards,’ says our CEO Barbara Nebel. ‘It shows that our sustainability work is having an impact. Our plain English documents help decision-makers like CEOs, CFOs, Directors and business owners on both sides of the Tasman understand our technical findings and act on them.’

Helping our clients avoid greenwash

A desire to help organisations share their sustainability stories without risking ‘greenwash’ motivates our plain English efforts too.

‘Clients can rely on the plain English documents we produce and use them in their own communications. They don’t need to change them. That means less risk of damaging their brand or facing regulatory fines.’ says Barbara.

Demystifying sustainability – and telling our own story

The reporting award is for our first integrated report. We needed to keep it concise and make it easy for people to understand, including people who don’t have a sustainability background. Plain English and strong infographics have helped us do this and highlight what matters.

‘Communication using plain English also helps to demystify sustainability and helps to reach a broader audience,’ says Barbara.

We are especially proud to win an award for the second year in a row. This recognises our commitment to keep improving our plain English skills.

Congratulations to the other winners and finalists. Together we’re tackling passive verbs, trimming down sentences and banishing corporate-speak across New Zealand and Australia. And that has to be a good thing!

We would also like to thank the WriteMark Plain English Awards Trust for running the awards and pushing awareness and best practice.

Our plain English communications and reporting offer for clients

Our in-house communication and design experts can help you develop plain English case studies, web copy, reports and other communications to galvanise your stakeholders, share your sustainability stories, and meet your annual reporting needs. We work with sustainability colleagues every day, so we know how to translate complex technical information into business language without ‘greenwash’.

We can be your outsourced communicators or support your in-house communications team. We can also coach your team and share the tools, templates and plain English storytelling techniques they need to become expert sustainability communicators.

27 October 2022