Is it really that simple? 3 steps away from buzzword avoidance in the workplace?
Great dialogue yesterday in the Corporate Communications and PR community, courtesy of Mark Ragan and Ragan.com. The point of the article – the Social Media Gurus are going too far with buzzwords. Way too far.
(We agree – to a point. We’re guilty of using the phrase “Holistic Social Media” – but that’s a story for another day.)
This got us thinking…can you really avoid buzzwords? Maybe, just maybe. Here’s a 3-step plan.
1. Write for the 4th Grader. A couple weeks back, Dave from Area 224 was preparing remarks for the Lake County Social Networking group. Working from home, he got a visitor — a 4th Grader who wanted to know what he was up to. Most of the slides got the expected eyeroll — the ones about Transparency and Accountability, for instance. However, the “your blog should be your nerve center” slide? That one passed the test.
2. What’s Your Point? Really. If you know the point you are trying to get across before you start communicating, you can probably figure out a better way to say it.
This brings us to the greatest commercial ever.
“If ever you’re not satisfied with one of our tires, please feel free to bring it back. Thank you, Discount Tire Company.”
3. Brevity. Staying with the Discount Tire Company theme…people won’t boo you if you take an hour-long meeting and shorten it to 10 minutes. Mark Twain once said something to this effect:
“My apologies for writing you a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.”
If you have to explain, say, “engagement” in the corporate communications or social media vernacular, you’re probably going to have a rather long definition. And you’ll have to talk in circles to get there – since everyone has a different idea when it comes to engagement.
Meanwhile, the prospect you want to turn into a customer is online, looking at your website, and they have questions about your product that they want to ask you.
Do they want you to engage with them? Or do they want you to just answer their bloody questions?
So, while you’re convening the next meeting of the Corporate Engagement Advisory Council…
Have at it! You’re just 3 Steps Away.