Technical Writing in the Recreation Industry?

Carol Jones

In this era of budget restrictions, recreation managers continually strive for ways to help facility users participate in activities safely and successfully, with minimal staff interaction. One of the most common tools for facilitating independent use is informational signs. Effective signs help users find their way around buildings, set individual workouts on fitness machines, and tour historical sites independently. Ineffective signs alienate users and cause an increased number of program complaints.

Some examples of effective technical communication in recreation

Trail signs Markers display maps, intensity and accessibility levels, trail highlights, and cautionary notes.

Building signs Internal and external building signs identify parking, building entrances, specific rooms, restroom and concession facilities, accessibility features, and emergency evacuation routes.

Circuit training course signs Directive signs provide information about the course route, specific exercises available at each stop, and suggestions and cautions for exercising.

Historic markers Roadside and object markers provide information about identified historic landmarks including dates and the landmarks’ historic significance.

Museum information signs Building signs and artifact markers offer museum tour information, and spotlight specific information on displayed items.

Fitness equipment caution and operating instructions Warnings and directive signs identify hazards and operating procedures including instructions for setting individual workouts.

Garden markers Weatherproof signs provide information on type of plants and their significance in the garden.

Liability waivers Legal documents explain potential risks of activity and identify participant and provider responsibility.

Park use signs Markers provide park operation schedule along with educational and cautionary information.

Activity brochures, travel guides, tournament programs, special event flyers are all additional examples of technical communication used in the recreation industry. CC