Frequently Asked Questions

How much do continual re-writes cost my organisation?

A draft report or brief may get sent back for basic editing and refining 3 or 4 times. This can often involve many hours of re-work by officers and unnecessary reviewing by senior executives. This process can cost thousands of dollars and weeks of valuable time. I can edit documents, make them easier to read and make your key messages clearer within a few days for a fraction of the cost.

For example, I can typically edit short reports, briefs or submissions in a 2-3 days for less than $500. I can typically edit lengthy or complex documents, such as Annual Reports, in less than a week for under $1000. I can also quote for more urgent editing tasks with a very tight turnaround.

What does a badly written document look like?

  • The purpose of the document and key messages are unclear.
  • It presents information from the author's perspective and assumes a high degree of technical knowledge.
  • It provides too much background information and tells a long, rambling story rather than getting to the point.
  • The key issues and solutions are unclear.
  • The document lacks a structure and flow that makes it easy to understand.
  • Sentences and paragraphs are too long, incoherent and bureaucratic - they don't contribute to the core message.

What does a well-written document look like?

  • The document is written in plain or everyday English.
  • It is structured and presented to make it easy to read by someone with limited time and content knowledge (for example, a member of the public or senior decision-maker).
  • The reader's attention is drawn quickly to the key issues.
  • Background and supporting information is presented concisely and its relevance to the issues is clear.
  • It uses writing techniques, including active voice language, useful headings and correct punctuation.

What is 'plain English'?

I specialise in using plain English to make your documents clearer, easier to read and more powerful. Documents written in plain English contain simple, straightforward sentences and are structured to 'get to the point'. They avoid using jargon, cliches and complicated language, such as bureaucratic expressions and 'management-speak'.

Shouldn't I expect my staff to be able to write clearly and succinctly?

Ideally, yes. However, staff in government departments are usually appointed for their policy or project management skills, technical abilities or content knowledge. They may not have the written communication skills and experience to produce concise, clear documents quickly. Further, your staff are typically too busy managing their core business to spend time editing documents effectively. I have the experience and skills to perform this work quickly and efficiently.

Shouldn't my communications team do this kind of work?

In most government departments, communications teams are fully occupied undertaking their core duties such as marketing, media support, event management, graphic design, web publishing and producing communication strategies. Engaging me to edit documents leaves your communication experts free to focus on what they're best at.

What if my organisation has strict templates for documents?

I have lots of experience applying government formats and templates for reports, submissions and board papers. I do not alter your organisation's format for these kinds of documents. Rather, I improve the language and presentation of information within your existing formats to your messages are clear and concise.

How can I ensure the confidentiality of my documents?

I take security of your documents very seriously. I have more than 20 years experience handling and managing confidential government documents. Once I have provided you with the edited document, it is deleted from my system.

Can Perfect Documents provide graphic design, layout, web design and other publishing services?

I specialise in editing and preparing written material. I have extensive experience providing these services for the highest levels of government. I do not provide publishing services like graphic or web design.

How do I get a quote from Perfect Documents?

Simply call 0414 103 630 or email me with a description of the document that you would like edited or the writing training you would like scheduled. I will provide a quote and a timeframe for delivery of the finished document or training course.

Perfect Documents 2015