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Writing the Met Office Annual Report and Accounts

report and accounts copywritingThe UK’s Met Office includes around 30 pages of creative copy at the front of its Annual Report and Accounts, designed to inform stakeholders about the organisation’s work, its progress and advances in forecasting. It’s a wide audience, from senior MoD and Government figures to the business community, media and scientists.

Generating the raw information involved interviewing around 30 to 40 people, ranging from forecasters and research scientists to the Chief Executive. This information has to be turned into readable, but very tight and professional copy.

Keeping everyone happy

[blockquote-right]”skilful copywriting and editing”[/blockquote-right]

A delicate balance was needed. There was no point glossing over problems such as the flooding at Boscastle in Cornwall, which was not accurately forecast. Explaining why (it’s all to do with grids on computer models) called for not only writing skills but also the ability to understand and, at times, ‘translate’ complex technical information, while not upsetting the scientists who hate the idea of “dumbing down.”

Sarah Quick, who at the time was Senior Editor at the Met Office, said: “With skilful copywriting and editing, Simon has helped the Met Office reach all of its customers worldwide.”