I don’t know what anyone is saying anymore

Dan Pollotta, of the Harvard Business Review, on the “PR Speak” of most business today:

I’d say that in about half of my business conversations, I have almost no idea what other people are saying to me. The language of internet business models has made the problem even worse. When I was younger, if I didn’t understand what people were saying, I thought I was stupid. Now I realize that if it’s to people’s benefit that I understand them but I don’t, then they’re the ones who are stupid.

PR Speak, the art of speaking around your audience through use of highfalutin language, is nearly impossible to decipher. Oddly, it also seems to be the standard in the business world today. Take a look at any recent Press Release. Each sound like the company is hiding something from the reader. Why?

There is a value to clearly and effectively communicating complex ideas to your audience. Companies who speak effectively develop a sense of trust with their consumers. The public trusts politicians who speak directly to them. Organizations build relationships when they create a dialogue with their community. But this doesn’t come easily. Copywriting is difficult. It’s a skill that only develops over time, and through careful editing.