Our story

Who we are; what we do

We’re mad about words. We’re especially mad about words that get in the way of people understanding what other people write. So we’re doing something about it.

We are an Auckland, New Zealand-based, boutique training company that specialises in helping people to write well at work. We’ve been in business since 2006, and have had the pleasure of training thousands of people to craft documents that other people can – and want to – read.

We train front-line troops. We train managers. We train public sector people, business people, and those from the consulting and service industries. The organisations we work with are large, small and in between.

We are crusaders for putting plain language to work, so everyone’s job gets easier, and readers get a much better deal.

The team

Lynne Laracy, director and trainer

Lynne Laracy, director and trainer

With 25 years of writing – from newspapers, to magazines, to specialist health and local government publishing – under her belt, Lynne feels like she has a thing or two to share about writing well under pressure. And as a former local government manager, she knows from the inside the challenges of writing at work.

Lynne set up Laracy Communications to help writers at work express themselves clearly and concisely. Leading up to that, here’s a few of the other roles she’s had.


  • Publications manager, Auckland City Council.
  • Deputy editor, Directions, NZ Automobile Association magazine.
  • Online content manager, everybody, consumer health website.
  • Managing editor, Asian Medical News (Hong Kong).
  • Senior writer and news editor, New Zealand Doctor newspaper.
  • Journalist, Eastern Courier; and contributor to Grace, Next and More magazines.

Oh, and before that, she was a physiotherapist. This taught her a lot about the importance of communicating complicated information in plain language, so her patients could better manage their health and wellbeing.

Memberships and other stuff

Lynne clearly has a comprehensive understanding of not only the content but the best way to train it. Her background as a journalist gives her instant credibility and myriad examples to draw on to reinforce the training. She has a great sense of humour and I was impressed with the way she expertly managed the group to keep us all on track.

Tom Spratt, Technical Operations Manager – Applications, Fonterra

We all enjoyed Lynne’s lively and engaging presentation style and we have seen great improvements in our team’s written abilities. I feel that anyone who writes as part of their day-to-day work can benefit from attending one of Lynne’s sessions.

Ben Hutchison, Team Leader, Customer Services, Auckland Council

Sarah Johnson, trainer and editor

Sarah Johnson, trainer and editor

Having qualified as a barrister and solicitor, Sarah worked in law in New Zealand and the UK, before retraining in publishing. She completed an MPhil in Publishing at Stirling University, Scotland, then worked as a technical writer and editor.

As well as training, Sarah is responsible for editing all our programme training materials and helps our clients develop clear, plain language pro forma documents and text blocks.

She specialises in writing and editing public sector and organisational documents, and loves the challenge of transforming turgid text into documents that are a pleasure to read. And in her spare time, she writes award-winning children’s books.

Mary Morel, affiliate trainer

Mary Morel, affiliate trainer

We are doing our bit for closer trans-Tasman relationships. We have formed an affiliate relationship with fellow writing training provider and online grammar superstar, Sydney-based Mary Morel.

Mary has been working with words all her career as a trainer, freelance writer and author. She now specialises in two areas – helping people write better board papers and online courses.

Everyone needs a Mary on their team. She’s helped me gain confidence in my writing voice.

Jennifer Straughan, Instinctive Business

Why choose us?

Our service is:

  • based on experience – we’ve helped thousands of people write better and more confidently. As experienced writers, editors and managers ourselves, we know what it’s like to write under pressure. We’ve been there.
  • client focused – we work with our clients over time to improve their writing standards. We work with large and small organisations, in the public sector, and in the manufacturing, service and consulting industries.
  • specialised – we think training people to write well at work is so important that it deserves our total focus. We’ve chosen depth over width for our business.
  • personal – we don’t think big is always beautiful. We’ve stayed boutique, so that you know exactly who and what you get, and we get to know you.

Our training is:

  • practical and task-based – it’s all about you and what you write every day.
  • fun and interactive – the ghost of English teachers past is banished forever. Yes – we promise that learning to write well can be fun.
  • customised – our courses reflect your learning and writing needs, and your workplace culture.
  • modular and blended – we help you build skills in different writing areas over time, using a variety of methods, including online learning.

Why our training works

Off-the-shelf isn’t in our vocabulary
Our customised, modular programmes are built to reflect your brand and company culture, and to provide a clear training track for staff. We work with your own documents and templates, and assess your particular writing needs to develop and deliver fully customised training.

Tell us what you want and we will build it for you.

We make the learning fun
Many of our participants expected a writing course to be something to endure, not enjoy. But after the course, they described it as ‘fun’, ‘engaging’ and ‘inspiring’. And they frequently describe us as ‘knowledgeable’, ‘passionate’ and ‘enthusiastic’. We like that, because we know that bored people don’t learn. We consider it our job to inspire writers to want to write better, then give them the tools to do it.

Our training is also practical and targeted, so participants walk away knowing how to do everyday writing tasks better and faster.

It’s not all about the training on the day
Our blended learning approach prepares participants before they attend our workshops, and supports them after the training has finished. This includes:

  • pre- and post-training questionnaires and reading
  • individual feedback on participants’ documents (when, and how often, is up to you)
  • regular writing tips and reminders
  • planned follow-up sessions.

Your staff will have ongoing access to our blog, and we can provide self-directed online learning modules to reinforce their learning.

We help you raise the bar on your writing standards
Good writing happens when everyone agrees what good looks like. We will work with you and your people over time to raise writing standards across your organisation. We will develop style guides or work with you to revamp any templates or form documents that don’t reflect your clear communication values or reinforce good writing practice.

What our clients say

The course was fabulous. Lynne’s a subject matter expert, passionate about writing, and has an easy going manner and genuine empathy for the hurdles we experience as writers. This is a winning combination.

Shelby Young, Senior Advisor, Financial Policy, Auckland Council

You’ve made learning to communicate effectively interesting and fun. My communication has improved, and will continue to improve as a result of the learning from your workshops.

Rakesh Patel, Senior Finance Analyst, Fonterra

This was by far the best course that I have attended. I am honestly feeling really enthused about report writing now (which sounds really tragic!).

Regional Adviser, Auckland Transport

I attended your business writing courses a couple of years ago. Thanks to your course, my writing has improved ten-fold. My documents are significantly shorter and more easily understood. They are also much quicker and easier for me to write, and my proposals are usually accepted without rework. Even a couple of years on, I’m finding benefits in having done the course.

Hayley Bennett, IT Business Analyst

I was getting too many rejection slips until I went on a medical writing course. I can now list 300 articles on my CV. My thanks to Lynne Laracy who taught me alchemy — how to turn dross into gold!

Dr Charles Essex, UK paediatrician and British Medical Journal contributor

I think the course was fantastic. The presenter is passionate and articulate. The content is very applicable to daily working life. As an experienced manager, it can be hard to find personal development courses that provide significant value. This one does. It has improved the quality of my written communications considerably. I highly recommend it.

Business Analyst Manager, Fonterra

Your workshop has helped highlight for me exactly what makes a good email and the importance of maintaining a clear written tone of voice to ensure that the council is seen as professional and consistent to all its customers.

Alison Jones, Customer Response Representative, Auckland Council

The course has been of great value for my writing and speaking. It’s the third Laracy Communications course I’ve done, and I recommend them all.

Johan van der Watt, Information Services PMO Portfolio Manager, Fonterra

Lynne took time to understand our business and tailored the session to suit our needs based on real examples of written correspondence that we receive.

Ben Hutchison, Team Leader, Customer Services, Auckland Council

Who we work with

We work with organisations of all sizes and from all sectors. Here's a selection of clients we are proud to do business with.

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