Are you pleased to introduce a unique innovation that's a bleeding-edge, mission-critical technology which shifts the industry paradigm?
If this sounds familiar, this post is just for you.
First off, I'll fess up - I still catch myself writing like this. But honestly, how could you not get caught up in it? We're not just software - we're innovative, unique, robust and marketing-leading. We're solutions-driven, we enable, and we are best-of-breed. Whatever that means.
While this tactic works for a bit, in the end, it acts as a turn-off to reporters and customers. Why? Because while the language bolsters your word count, it dilutes your message. Important eyes, like a customer or a prospect, glaze over this language, because you're not communicating anything concrete. Your message of how you solve problems for people is completely lost among useless descriptors.
So how do you combat vacuous language that could harm your chances at coverage and business?
1. Give yourself a big reality check
Ask yourself - are you really unique? Really? Are you truly mission-critical? Will a business die without you? If not, cut the rhetoric and ground your messaging in reality. Your content will only improve, and your customers and reporters will thank you.
2. Outline what you're trying to communicate
Many times, vacuous and ineffective language stems from a lack of focus in the message. Or frankly, you don't know what you're trying to say, you just know you need to say something. The best place to start is an outline of your announcement - follow the 5 W's, and stick to them.
3. Kill the internalspeak
Too many times, internalspeak ends up on press releases, on blogs, and in articles. What you call one item internally is referred to as something completely different in the outside world. To combat this, I recommend running a quick Google search on your terminology. If you can't find it, remove it from the copy and work in the terminology that actually makes sense to your audience.
4. At all costs, avoid the fluff
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preferences versus. good writing. Many marketers, myself included, have to take a step back from their own writing and cut the fluff. One trick I use is to leave the writing for an hour or so, and come back with a red pen to remove all of the unnecessary descriptors. What I'm left with is a clean, concise bit of copy that does the job I need it to.