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Give Your Readers What They Need

I traveled to Tucson, Arizona, last week, where I saw this perfect example of giving readers what they need:

East is to the Left

Can you tell immediately what I appreciated? Do you like it?

Because this sign was at a tourist attraction, the Mission San Xavier, it makes perfect sense to tell visitors which way is east.

As a longtime Seattle resident, I often notice visitors who appear confused when they read our parking signs. That is because the signs say things like “No Parking West of Here,” and visitors aren’t sure which direction is west.

My guess is that people at the Mission San Xavier got tired of pointing people toward the gift shop, and they decided to fix the sign. Nice work!



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.

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