Blocking Out Bad Business Writing
There have been some improvements, but on the whole business writing still consists of incomprehensible and un-engaging jargon. It needs to end.
Read this and see how much of it makes sense to you:
EFG Inc. is an award-winning provider of value-added end-to-end solutions that help industries leverage innovative solutions through ethical and synergistic products and services.
You may not have needed to pick up a dictionary to understand what is being said here – it’s perfectly possible for you to get the gist through context clues – but it’s still quite difficult to get through without pausing to analyze the components of the message. And if you have to work hard just to understand what it is, exactly, a business does, what does that say about the user-friendliness of its products and services? Business copy may have nothing to do with how easily a person can use a product or service, but it DOES imply a company’s commitment to providing convenience to customers.
In other words, if your business can’t be bothered to make its written communications clear and understandable to the people it’s selling to, it can’t expect people to believe it’s there to help. It’s not even helping them understand what it does as a company, so how can they expect it to help with anything else?
The sad fact: Clients insist on bad business writing
I’m willing to admit that I’m writing this with some bias – I’m a freelance writer, and I’ve had to work on writing copy for business. I’ve officially been asked to write everything from “About” pages to product descriptions and, one memorable time, I was even asked to help write a mission statement. For the most part, it’s great work…until they insist that I use “power words” and “buzzwords” in their copy.
Now, I understand that it’s all part of the TRADITION of business writing – traditionally speaking, these big words and phrases come off as impressive and professional in the world of business. There was a time, after all, that the mere knowledge of imposing and exciting (albeit empty) language was enough to earn fear and respect within an organization and industry. These words make you SEEM authoritative, and given that success is based on being the best, being the authority, it’s easy to use these words as a shortcut for denoting influence and success.
It’s really not working anymore
Of course, times have changed. Authority doesn’t come from knowing big words anymore; it comes from being able to clearly communicate important values and concepts to as many people as possible. As such, there is NO place for jargon in business writing anymore – whether you’re trying to impress executives or sell things to your customers, clear, straightforward language is the way to go. This is especially important in this day and age, when your business writing needs to expand to a larger audience, like the Internet.
If you really want to exude authority, you need to stop bad business writing in your organization and instead focus on making your messages clear, unique, and engaging. Leave no doubt as to what your business does for its customers, differentiate yourself from competition (and indeed, even OTHER companies in general), and inspire interest from readers, like so:
EFG Inc. is a company that wants to help folks any way it can, which is why it sells the latest and coolest eco-friendly gadgets and software for business. If you want, we can even help you figure out the best device-application mix for your needs. It’s the sort of thing we win awards for.
Isn’t it much easier to trust a company that has this kind of copy? So why not go for something like this?
Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. Follow me on Twitter and join me in Google +
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.