Gunning Fog and Oklahoma Public Relations

Inspired by Media Orchard’s post on readability, I have been talking to numerous folks in PR about the Gunning Fog index. Using this tool to measure readability.

I really don’t specifically mean that exact test only. I am just asking what level of communication we should use when communicating. John Updike or Dr. Seuss.

As for me, according to Scott this blog is a 9.02 while Media Orchard is 7.70. His blog readability measurements are interesting. In this case a lower score is better so Scott wins. On the other hand he IS a freaking professional communicator so I should get some wiggle room, right?

On to constructive thoughts that relate. I am giving the keynote (yea, go me! ok, whatever Ed….) for PRSA OKC tomorrow. The picture above was a wonderful dinner which I greatly appreciated. Now, there I was with 7 PR professionals in leadership roles so OF COURSE I brought Gunning Fogg up.

Delusional. That is the initial result of my testing. We did a quick
round robin several people said they expected their readability scores
to be 5 or 6. Meaning the communication is clear enough that someone
with a 5th or 6th grade education can understand it. The data says otherwise.

  1. PRSA OKC Professional Development Day – Gunning Fog = 7.09
  2. GM Fastlane Blog – Gunning Fog = 7.27
  3. News OK – Gunning Fog = 8.87
  4. Micropersuasion – Gunning Fog = 9.10
  5. PRSA National – Gunning Fog = 9.26
  6. Schipul – Gunning Fog = 9.58
  7. Strumpette – Gunning Fog = 9.71
  8. PRSA Houston – Gunning Fog = 10.18
  9. Council of Public Relations Firms – Gunning Fog = 11.56
  10. Hill and Knowlton Services Page – Gunning Fog = 11.9
  11. 20 Hats Public Relations – Gunning Fog = 12.23
  12. PRSA OK – Gunning Fog = 12.23
  13. Keeney PR – Gunning Fog = 13.63
  14. Fleishman – Gunning Fog = 14.47 (and ethics is only two syllables – sorry…)
  15. I Know Public Relations – Gunning Fog = 16.07

As Dan has argued strongly, this is JUST ONE MEASURE. But it is still interesting.