Journalists write easier to read copy than PRs

Media Orchard has a fun little experiment to assess some media, marketing and PR blogs for their readability using the Gunning-Fog test. I thought I’d add a few extra to the pot (one or two duplicates) and see how PRs compare to journalists and politicians.

Basically it measures what age/how many years of education you need to have had in order to be able to understand the copy. So a newspaper like The Guardian or The Times would score 10 and The Sun scores 6 (which interestingly according to Wikipedia is what a typical comic scores).

The one that impressed me was David Miliband who started his government blog as a way “to help bridge the gap – the growing and potentially dangerous gap – between politicians and the public”. From this score (a crude test I know) it looks like he is doing a good job.

I’ll leave it to those of you featured to comment on the other results.

PR Voice (Tony Bradley) 11.77 – CIPR president and PR consultant
Mediations (Philip Young) 11.45 – PR academic
Boris Johnson MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education 10.78 – Politician
Desirable Roasted Coffee (Allan Jenkins) 10.24 – PR consultant
AccMan Pro (Dennis Howlett) 10.19 – Journalist (ex, but also an accountant)
A PR Guru’s Musings (Stuart Bruce) 10.07 – PR consultant
Neville Hobson 10.03 – PR consultant
The Business Editors (Caspian Publishing) 9.67 – Journalists (team blog)
A Shel of My Former Self (Shel Holtz) 9.57 – PR consultant
PR Squared (Todd Defren) 9.55 – PR consultant
Simonsays (Simon Collister) 9.42 – PR consultant
BusinessMatters (Stuart Jones) 9.36 – Accountant
PR Studies (Richard Bailey) 9.25 – PR academic
Guy Clapperton 9.20 – Journalist (freelance)
PR Blogger (Stephen Davies) 9.07 – PR student
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (David Miliband) 8.84 – Politician
Teblog (David Tebbutt) 8.59 – Journalist (freelance)
Charles on…. anything that comes along (Charles Arthur) 7.94 – Journalist (Technology Guardian editor)
ITWEEKBLOG (Gary Flood) 7.29 – Journalist
PR Opinions (Tom Murphy) 7.14 – PR in-house

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://objecttowers.typepad.com/the_new_view_from_object_/2006/05/journalists_wri.html The New View From Object Towers

    Journalists write easier to read copy than PRs (though apparently I am pretty readable)

    Apparently the New View From Object Towers is pretty readable with a Gunning-Fog score of 8.9 – on par with a popular novel. Da Vinci code anyone? Take the test here Gunning Fog More below from Stuart Bruce.Link: A PR

  • http://objecttowers.typepad.com/the_new_view_from_object_/2006/05/journalists_wri.html The New View From Object Towers

    Journalists write easier to read copy than PRs (though apparently I am pretty readable)

    Apparently the New View From Object Towers is pretty readable with a Gunning-Fog score of 8.9 – on par with a popular novel. Da Vinci code anyone? Take the test here Gunning Fog More below from Stuart Bruce. Link: A

  • http://simoncollister.typepad.com/simonsays/2006/05/friday_roundup.html Simonsays

    Friday round-up

    Stuart Bruce has a good post over at his blog. Using the Gunning-Fog test to analyse the readability of copy, Stuart has scored some high-profile PR bloggers (and me!). For the record I scored 9.42 which isn’t bad. Put in

  • http://profile.typekey.com/davidtebbutt/ David Tebbutt

    When I started in journalism (1979), I was told to write for 9-year olds. I'm happy with my ranking. Thank you.

  • http://www.accmanpro.com Dennis Howlett

    Of course, one has to consider the ontological and epistymological background of the person putting electronic pen to (metaphorically speaking that is) paper to properly assess whether the assessment is correct, or for that matter relevant, to the listening or as in this medium, reading audience in the first place.

    At least I'm not as dense as Boris Johnson.

  • http://allanjenkins.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/05/why_isnt_monosy.html Desirable Roasted Coffee

    Why isn’t ‘monosyllabic’ a shorter word?

    Scott Baradell asks Which Media, Marketing, or PR Blog is the Most Readable, and goes on to answer the question by applying the Gunning-Fog readability index, as calculated at the JuicyStudio site. Most of our colleagues score in the 8-11

  • http://manojranaweera.blogspot.com/ Manoj Ranaweera

    My blog (http://manojranaweera.blogspot.com/) scored 12.64
    Corporate website (http://www.ebdex.co.uk) scored 13.70

    I use simple words – yet score is too high.

  • http://strivepr.com/wordpress/?p=71 Strive Notes

    May 26th: This weeks top 5

    Lots of blogs are focusing on conferences and events this week, but I found some posts that were pretty interesting.   Here’s what I enjoyed this week.

    1. Is it time to eat some fruit?  
    2.  How to get 53% more readers.  Well the headline hooke…

  • http://allanjenkins.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/05/why_isnt_monosy.html Desirable Roasted Coffee

    Why isn’t ‘monosyllabic’ a shorter word?

    Scott Baradell asks Which Media, Marketing, or PR Blog is the Most Readable, and goes on to answer the question by applying the Gunning-Fog readability index, as calculated at the JuicyStudio site. Most of our colleagues score in the 8-11

  • http://prstudies.typepad.com Richard Bailey

    So I'm dumb for an academic. But not smart enough to be a tabloid journalist…

  • http://publicsphere.typepad.com/mediations/ Philip Young

    Thanks a lot, Stuart! I was hoping I still wrote like a journalist but as my latest post was about discussing semiotics in Romania I suppose I deserve it…