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The thing is, I reckon a rap explanation of how to fill in a tax return - if such a thing were even possible - probably would reach such a level of interest. But with it would come (justifiable?) criticism about HMRC staff wasting taxpayers' money, fooling about on YouTube. With the media in full 'feral beast' mode just now, you just wouldn't get away with it.

I've seen several examples now of government (mainly local, admittedly) trying to be funny on YouTube: the Allerdale litterbug springs immediately to mind. But basing your comms strategy on the cringe factor? Maybe not, eh.

I completely agree - apart from anything else, rap is not a medium well suited to communicating detail, but the tabloid reaction wouldn't be helpful either.

So the rap in this post may be a bit of a distraction. The more important point is that we now have ways of helping people who do not deal easily with written words, which are not themselves dependent on finding ways of writing words which somehow magic the problem away (and there's a sentence which fails every plain English test imaginable).

There are some examples of toes going into water (many of which I have learned about through your blog), but I can't easily think of examples which are directly about helping people to get something done. I wrote a while back about a couple of Jobcentre Plus videos - http://strategytalk.typepad.com/public_strategy/2007/12/putting-the-soc.html - which are mainly about selling behavioural change, though with some implied reassurance about the level of pain in the process. But I don't know whether anybody has tried to go to the next level - demonstrating rather than describing conditions of entitlement to a benefit, for example.

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