[BLOG] Corporate speak in the age of social Media
Many organizations still live in the Stone Age without knowing. They still engage the old order of communication. They engage ‘corporate speak’ which appeals to them. We daily witness this through their superlative language and embellishment of achievements in an egoistic manner. This often appeals to the top management and other key functionality within the company. Yet they have forgotten many do take those adjectives with a pinch of salt. The target will rather listen to what people; close friends have to say instead of ‘big grammar’ the company is offering.
Today, ‘corporate speak’ is considered propaganda. Lot of corporate organizations will not want to be associated with the word but that is exactly what it is in this age of social Media. I am presently reading a book ‘The Death Of Propaganda’ by David Hoskin etal, in this book Propaganda is defined as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view”. Often, corporate propaganda is created to please upper management rather than the customers it seems to be addressing’’.
Going through this book has helped me to understand the age we live more and I do strongly recommend brand Communication, top Management and Social media should go through this to acquaint themselves of the disadvantage of ‘corporate speak’ in a 24/7 conversation world.
Meanwhile, we do think some of the issues raised and itemized here will help. The authors recommend ‘Companies should aim to reduce propaganda-like messages in their marketing and communications materials and instead aim to deliver content that is honest, helpful and engaging’. It is no longer the messages that fan the ego the top management that work. Corporate communication should clearly demonstrate and amplifies satisfied clients voices.
Corporate speak or over-bloated truth will no longer sells. The authors also suggest ‘in this new world of straight-up, transparent, credible interactions with the company’s audiences, the truth is playing an increasingly important role. The trend is driven partly by the fact that attitudes are hardening toward corporate lies or other malpractices—just witness the number of whistle-blower programs that are being implemented across industries to enable employees to and organizations to sit up’.
It is obvious, lies or half-truth, which belongs to the old order, will no longer deliver today. Instead of selling what the organization thinks is right; brand communication professionals must encourage their brands to use more of customer testimonials (that are verifiable). This may be through identification of the customer’s company and contact person. By whatever means, brands must build and increase their credibility level instead of corporate speaks which is now considered propaganda. As we know, propaganda belongs firmly to the last Millennium.
With the above noted, what should be the new approach:
To win competitive battles, join the conversation: The battle for the mind is now becoming much more competitive. To win now, brands need to join and become active in the 24/7 conversation. This is at both the online and offline world.
Understand that corporate speaks damage your strategy than do good: No brands will succeed well with corporate speak today. Propaganda fuelled marketing messages and sales approaches don’t improve the chances of getting your company’s products or services on that short list. In fact, they may have quite the opposite effect.
Increase the level of word of mouth marketing: Build your corporate word of mouth level instead of being the only mouth.
Understand and note that the more you try to sell, the less you can sell: those who make habit of ‘hard-sell’ posture will sell less. So instead of hard- sell, build thought leadership, help clients with relevant information and content.
Are there other important truths overlooked? Increase the conversation, use the comment section.
Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Brand Communication, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage consulting and African Child Right Inc. Lagos Nigeria.
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