The King's Fund gives its writing a health check

The King’s Fund gives its writing a health check - Emphasis Training Case Study

The King’s Fund gives its writing a health check

The King's fund deals with critical issues, such as healthcare policy, NHS management and leadership development. In comparison, written communication in and from the organisation just didn't seem important. Emphasis training staff helped The King's Fund see how they could use improved writing skills to bring about change.

Consistency, not conformity

The King’s Fund is a charity that monitors how the English health system can be improved. The organisation collects and uses insights to shape the policies, services and behaviour in healthcare. It has several arms which produce written material for various audiences. 

‘The policy department, for example, writes for a more academic market and for policy makers, but also increasingly for senior healthcare managers to help them to interpret and implement policy,’ says Publishing Manager Mary Jean Pritchard. ‘The leadership department, however, is focusing on personal development and uses language that reflects that.’

The King's Fund aimed to improve overall standard of its writing and implement a cohesive style that also addressed audience-specific writing styles. Emphasis designed a training course specifically with this in mind.

Project Aims:

  • Improve overall quality and clarity of written communications
  • Increase adherence to house style, without stifling the necessary
    differences in writing style between departments.

It’s all in the delivery

Over one year, Emphasis delivered training to nearly 100 members of staff across all departments of the organisation.

‘Most of the training was done by the same two trainers, which was really helpful, because they got an overall grasp of the requirements of different departments, as well as the varying abilities,’ explains Mary Jean. ‘The quality of the personal interaction in the sessions was at least as important as the content of the programme. The trainers definitely won over some people who perhaps hadn’t gone into the session feeling very positive about it.’

Following the training, staff became more aware of how they could plan their writing and communicate messages clearly. They were also more accepting of constructive feedback from colleagues. 'The feedback was so positive that senior management then decided to run an ongoing two or three sessions a year for new staff,’ says Mary Jean.

‘Genuinely practical and useful throughout – the best training of any sort I’ve had in years.’ Catherine Foot, Senior Fellow

‘Enjoyable and engaging throughout, and allowed participants to work on areas of weakness without feeling embarrassed.’ - Rebecca Gray, Director of Communications

‘It’s great to get guidance and tips about structuring and keeping things simple for your audience.’ - Lucy Hooper, Business Support Manager

Why Emphasis?

The King’s Fund chose Emphasis as their training partner because they felt the organisation’s specific needs were understood. ‘We chose Emphasis because they really “got it” – from the writing samples we provided, they really understood exactly what we needed and what our issues were,’ says Mary Jean.'

‘We also valued their professionalism, including their track record with similar organisations, and liked the fact that they were able to tailor the programme to meet our specific needs.’

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