PR Notes- Does Your Writing Pass Jargon Test?

Erika Napoletano has a great article in the June issue of Entrepreneur magazine regarding the continued use of “buzzspeak” among marketing and PR professionals. Her message is clear.  Use plain language.  Sounds easy.  For most of us at some point in our career, it’s sometimes easier said than done.  Erika and I recommend the same formula to create key messages regardless of product or service, business or consumer, SMB or enterprise:

1) Who are you?

2) What do you do?

3) Why you’re different?

4) Why they should care?

Take for example a release today from Intel: Intel Introduces Cloud-Based Identity Solution for Salesforce and and other Cloud Applications.  Huh? That’s just the headline.  Even for a seasoned PR professional, the lead paragraph is choked full of industry jargon, making it almost unreadable.  I’m guessing, but I believe the key news is the ability for salesforce users to access other cloud apps securely using their secure single sign-on credentials.  Why not just say that?

PR Content should provide a high- level entry point to capture the attention of an existing client or prospect to seek a solution to a current pain point.  Again, I’m guessing, but in the case of the new Intel offering the pain point is having to use multiple sign -ins to access cloud apps outside of the salesforce network.

As Erika suggests, the point is to use plain English that makes targets want to learn more.

How does your product or service solve a common pain point regarding a business challenge or opportunity?

Her conclusion: Ditch the buzzspeak and all the tired, overused words that people don’t even hear.  Use plain language.


About Jeff Denenholz

Jeff has successfully created and executed high-level marketing and public relations campaigns throughout his career in diverse markets, representing brand name companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, United Way and Pyramid Breweries.