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Domestic Violence Awareness Month–and Good Writing

In the United States October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. That designation means that domestic violence is a subject of television programs, news reports, newsletters articles, discussions, and so on.

The focus on domestic violence encouraged me to tell you about an excellent piece of writing, the Safety Plan Pocket Guide, published by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in Washington State.

Click on the link above, and you will see the two sides of the pocket guide, which is small enough to fit in a wallet, pocket, or even a shoe.

Here is what I admire about the guide beyond its small size: All the bullet points are short, clear, and focused on action. They are also grouped by logical category, for example, "Plan Ahead" and "During an Incident." The tollfree phone number stands out in red. And the card is available in 10 languages.

If you were going to distribute the Safety Plan Pocket Guide, how would you do it? Where would you reach people privately to slip them the card if they wanted or needed it?

I have found the card several times in a perfect place: women's restrooms.

Thanks and kudos to Washington State's DSHS for producing this valuable card in such a useable format.

Syntax Training

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.