Economic Costs of Crappy Writing

Updated: Jul 6

The ability to write well is scandalously undervalued.

Both the benefits of quality writing and the economic costs of poor writing are underestimated by organizations of all sizes. Although I’ve written about this before, I thought using photos to make analogies would be an elegant, fun way to reinforce my point. Enjoy, – JRWG

Economic cost of a poorly-written email:

Josh Bernoff, author of Writing Without Bullshit, surveyed 547 businesspeople in early 2016. They reported spending 25.5 hours a week reading for work, about one third of which was email. Here’s something remarkable:

  • 81 percent of respondents reported that poorly written material was a substantial time suck.
  • “A majority say that what they read is frequently ineffective because it’s too long, poorly organized, unclear, filled with jargon, and imprecise.” (emphasis added)

Economic cost of a poorly-written ad:

“Good ideas demand good writing; bad writing can leave even the best ideas lost forever in the fog.”

– Hurley Write, “The Consequences of Bad Writing”

Economic cost of a poorly-written safety manual:

Compounded economic costs of crappy writing:

“America is spending 6 percent of total wages on time wasted attempting to get meaning out of poorly written material. Every company, every manager, every professional pays this tax, which consumes $396 billion of our national income. That’s more than half of what we pay for Medicare—but the poor writing tax pays for nothing but waste.”

– Jeff Bernoff in The Daily Beast, Oct 2016

The Garvington Post features communication tips, musings, entertainment and rants. Sign up here for the Garvington Post newsletter and get a monthly synopsis, exclusive content and free drink vouchers.

#copywriting #businesscommunications #WithoutBullshit

Posted on: June 4, 2018