Monday, January 30, 2012

Ditch the Jargon: Just Tell It Like It Is

Groundbreaking, state of the art, cutting edge, bleeding edge...

Oh, really?

Next generation, end to end, paradigm shift...

Oh, please...just the facts, ma'am.

Reading a press release sometimes requires a strong stomach and a suspension of disbelief. It involves translating the marketing jargon and hyperbolic BS until what's left is usually just a few half-sentences here, a partial paragraph there, leaving readers wondering if they actually learned something or had simply been run over and shot at by a kind of PR hit-and-run or drive-by.

Whose fault is it? Sometimes it's the PR or marketing wizard writing copy, happy to employ whatever big gun is handy in his or her vocabulary arsenal. Other times the call comes from above, perhaps the quoted senior exec who wants to lend an air of pomp to the circumstances of the news announcement. But come on, now, is what you're doing really revolutionary? Or does it simply give people a quicker way to sharpen their pencil or tie their shoelaces.

If what you're announcing warrants a press release, then the world will be happy to hear it. But let the facts stand on their own merit, and leave the revolutionary stuff to Paul Revere.

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