Please don't corporate speak
For some unknown reason many of the best verbal communicators often go into "corporate speak" when writing their business materials or websites
By this I mean they resort to language that is professional, uptight and full of inspeak that goes over the heads of their target market. Now last time I looked that kind of language:
- Doesn’t engage
- Makes you sound unfriendly
- Helps you get firmly lost in the noise
I came across a marvellous example of this via Twitter where someone I follow had - for some unknown reason - tweeted about the following US post which was not only grammatically horrific but stuffed full of long words. Copywriter anyone? (That would be me by the way...)
Here it is:
“The gravitation of business endeavors online towards the implementation of social networking as a major marketing tool is plainly owing to its proven effectiveness. It has revolutionized the existent marketing practices and even enhanced them to achieve the desired ROI. What has social networking changed?”
Needless to say, not only did I NOT read more of that post, I didn't sign up as a follower and I certainly didn't tweet the link as I didn’t want to impose it on my followers. So that's a whole heap of marketing that didn't happen …
The secrets of writing for business are to
- think who you are writing for
- use short snappy sentences and a chatty style and
- read your words aloud as a quick check to see if you would ever ever say that in conversation!
Some time ago I went to Blenheim Palace and came back with a super little book called "The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill". One of the things he wrote was "What if I had said, instead of "We shall fight on the beaches", "Hostilities will be engaged with our adversary on the coastal perimeter"
Decades on on it seems some businesses still need some help in this area. Perhaps you could send this post to the worst offenders by way of a little hint!
Would you like to share any other anonymous examples with me on Twitter? Oh go on! Let's fight them on the beaches...