Talking to a Friend: Translate, Personalize, Localize, Dramatize
Imagine you are having a sincere conversation with someone you know, and you warn her or him about the risk of a storm surge face to face.
This is how you will write your message.
Now, follow the following instructions:
Step 1. Translate
Is there language that is too technical and formal for the public to understand? Try rewriting these words or passages.
Step 2. Personalize
Rewrite words in the message on the right so that it addresses someone directly (i.e., talks in second person: "you" instead of "they").
Step 3. Localize
Modify the message so that it identifies a specific group of people or location and talks directly to them.
Step 4. Dramatize
Add words or sentences that describe the coming event (storm surge) in a way that it is easier for the reader to picture what will happen.
To continue the exercise, copy the message you have written in the box and paste it into the box on the following page.