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the ford & doonan story The Ford & Doonan Story


Ford and Doonan was established in 1985 and has since become West Australia’s largest air conditioning provider, employing over 140 people at 11 locations. Founded by Andrew Ford and Kyle Doonan, their brand reliability and excellent customer service values have resulted in 27 industry awards, placing them among Australia’s top five air conditioning businesses.

In recent years, Andrew was fortunate enough to be joined by his son, Christian, who brought a contemporary skill set in marketing to the business. One decision they made early was to gain more control over their digital presence and separate the written component from their visual identity. They did this by engaging Plastic Words, enabling the rest of their team to focus on other key Ford & Doonan priorities. As Andrew describes (2024):

“Engaging Plastic Words to assist us in aligning our strategic communications with our brand identity meant we could get our web developers to focus on the user interface and the visual component of our web presence.”

The Plastic Words team helped Ford & Doonan to transform and modernise their main website. After an extensive review, we gave recommendations and a small demonstration of our work. These were general (e.g. concerning headings and global punctuation) and specific (e.g. rewriting text blocks to increase clarity and engagement). Once the Ford & Doonan team gave the green light, we commenced a detailed rewrite of four pages' worth of copy for easy integration into the site. This targeted intervention looked at areas of high priority regarding site use, overall impression, and essential information.


This site-wide project was intended to bring the Ford & Doonan web text up to the new graphical and navigational standard of excellence. In terms of process, the challenge was achieving this on every site page within a limited time frame, using multiple sources of old and new information. While the information provided was accurate, it was often stylistically diverse, resulting in repetition and inconsistent formatting. In terms of outcome, the challenge was to significantly reduce excess content without losing any critical information.

Our Strategy

The Plastic Words approach involves assessment, client engagement, rewriting, and proofing.

  1. Digital Text Audit and Assessment

All Plastic Words web projects start with a Digital Text Audit. This involves reviewing the website's main pages and assessing the copy's goals. This allows us to get an overall view of the tone and style of our client while looking at the flow of information across the site.

For Ford & Doonan, we assessed all the text with an eye to four specific pages, which were highlighted as a customer priority. We gave general recommendations for aligning text styles across the site and specific recommendations for each page regarding the use of text, heading style, and clarity of purpose. We also identified misplaced copy and inconsistent messaging.

  1. Initial Client Engagement

After our digital text audit of the new website, we met with Christian Ford, head of marketing at Ford & Doonan, to discuss our findings and the priorities of our text rewrites and edits. This enabled Plastic Words and the client to ensure everyone was on the same page and had the same priorities. Once Christian had approved our approach, we moved forward with the initial engagement of four key web pages.

Each page involved shortening headings when appropriate and making their style uniform (e.g. capitalisation, length, wording, grammar, and tone). We also focused on using blurbs and rewriting, emphasising accessible language. The goal was to create clear and concise first impressions to maximise audience retention. This was accomplished through sessions of one to three team members collaborating before finalising the content with an entire team review.

  1. Rewriting and Proofing

With this benchmark for the clarity of content, revision of the headlines, and ease of understanding, we then improved the remaining pages across the website. For some pages, this meant clarifying information, linking pages, eliminating over-technical language, and familiarising the reader with product names and types.

Each page was assessed on the focus of its topic and the use of its information with an eye to its context in the rest of the website. Blurbs that appeared on multiple pages, such as heading text for Ford & Doonan customer service award reels, were refined. We replaced jargon with accessible explanations for the layperson customer and noted any technical assertions to be checked by the experts at Ford & Doonan.


This refresher brought these web pages to the beautiful Ford & Doonan redesign standard. Satisfied with our work, Plastic Words was given the green light to update the remaining copy across the whole website. The result was a clear, engaging, modern website in keeping with Ford & Doonan’s award-winning service record. From engagement to close, this whole process took six weeks, with no downtime or interruptions to the customer. Ford and Doonan’s strategy of separating their written and visual content enabled them to develop their sight rapidly, with everyone focused on their area of expertise.

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