Let’s face it. Jargon is everywhere these days and has become woven into the fabric of everything from corporate culture to marketing strategies and [gasp] even marketing materials.
If you’ve spent time in the corporate world or any other office setting, this hypothetical meeting conversation will likely make sense to you:
Communicator: “This is a comprehensive, value-added strategy that will create synergy across the entire infrastructure, but we need more bandwidth to make it happen.”
Executive: “My takeaway is that this low-hanging fruit will incentivize our organization to close the loop on this mission critical challenge we’ve been facing. The opportunity here is to get back to the basics of our business model. Net-net, at the end of the day, we’re a best-in-class organization. This is a win-win that gives us the traction we need to gain market share.”
Communicator: “So now that we have your buy-in, let’s circle back on our actionables offline so we can get this initiative on the radar screen.”
As a communicator, do you find yourself getting caught up in your company or clients’ lingo? What about your client proposals? Do you throw terms around that make your clients’ eyes glaze over? What are you trying to leverage, benchmark, synergize, incentivize, implement or execute? It’s easy to get caught up in the lingo. As an HR communicator, I often found myself spewing benefits terms before either realizing it myself or having a colleague catch me with a “huh?”
Take a step back and look at your website, press releases and other marketing materials as if you’re reading them for the first time. Better yet, put yourself in your target audience’s mindset. Are your materials laden with technical terms that only doctors, engineers or even rocket scientists understand? Well, if that’s your audience, then you don’t need to worry. Otherwise, keep it simple.
What are your favorite jargon examples?