I was talking yesterday with a cool 40-something chick who owns a large construction company. We were discussing marketing collateral....you know, the standard stuff that most businesses need: service or product write-ups and key person biographies.
We were talking about the stiff, formal approach that a lot of people use in these types of materials. That and the requisite buzzwords. We agreed that we both don't like either formal or buzzy.
It's funny because when we are hired to write this sort of material, we interview practitioners and draft what is usually buzzword and BS-free content. Sometimes, when people meet with us, though, or provide background info in writing, they attempt to craft what they perceive we are looking for. Invariably, they'll add a bunch of extra words between really important facts. These words, 90% of the time, are the fluffy buzzwords they think we're likely to want in there.
But when you talk to people of all generations--from the 20 year-olds who have no patience for the inauthentic, to the boomers who grew up on sit-coms with canned laughter and have been "pitched to" their whole lives as advertisers experimented with every medium of ad delivery--everyone is sick of being pitched. The BS filters are on and people turn off and tune out as soon as pitch is even slightly sensed.
Ahhh, I love to differentiate by keeping copy simple and and authentic. Fluff and buzzword free. If you're the same, you might get a kick out of this...
I had bookmarked the above mentioned post to share with you back in Oct but even funnier, just today as I'm posting it, when I visited David's site to obtain the link, I see he posted about the topic again this week with: Attention PR People: Please Speak Like Human Beings.
It's a sad and telling thing---the fact that our accountant, wealth advisor, and lawyer clients try to "help" us, their marketing professionals, by delivering their experience and backgrounds wrapped in a thick layer of gobbledygook.
I'm with David Meerman Scott. I think we need to "undo" the perception fluffy is either necessary or desirable.