Careless Writing

How do Companies Write Carelessly or Too Technically?

They write in a style that is difficult to understand: too technical for the average reader or too general without sufficient detail.

Example: Which statements are more credible?

Puffery: Vague and Imprecise Performance: Clear and Specific
We have an environmental spill avoidance plan, and we investigate all spills that occur to avoid them in the future. We investigate every environmental spill to identify and to attempt to eliminate its cause.  In the past year, we had 30 spills, 10 percent more than the previous year.  All were investigated and 15 new controls were implemented to avoid increases in the future.
Unfortunately, our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased this past year. Our absolute GHG emissions increased 5 percent over last year.  The increase is due to our increased production and sales.  However, the increase is unacceptable. We have set a 10 percent target reduction for next year and have a special committee reporting to our Board of Directors on our monthly progress.
All of our facilities are ISO 14000 certified. All of our facilities are ISO 14000 certified and our internal auditors check each facility’s compliance on a two-year rotating basis.  Facility managers must report their progress on eliminating any deficiencies within six months of the audit.
We have training programs for all of our staff, managers, and field personnel. The number of safety training hours that our staff, managers, and field personnel received last year averaged 2.5, 2.0, and 5.4 respectively.  Ninety (90) percent of the employees in these categories received training. This training appears to have diminished our injury rate by 2 percent.
We engage our community stakeholders and know how important they are to our operations. We held five town hall meetings last year within our operating communities, one meeting per community.  Approximately 40 community members attended each meeting.

They present graphs and charts in a confusing manner or with missing data.

Compare the two graphs: Notice how compressing the intervals (first graph) or spreading the intervals (second graph) on the vertical axis can lead to a different visual impression of how much change has occurred in waste produced. Also note that the intervals (spread of the numbers) on the horizontal axis for the first graph are not consistently spaced throughout the entire axis, creating a misleading picture, especially for the larger amounts.