Jargon, Buzzwords & Acronyms: When Industry Shorthand Helps and Hurts

Paul Davenport, Jan 18 2017

categories: PR

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Every industry has its own set of jargon and buzzwords that, despite making perfect sense among peers in the field, can leave outsiders scratching their heads. As a result, businesses that rely heavily on acronyms or abbreviations to explain their processes, services and products need to be sure they aren’t toeing the line of comprehension when using too much jargon in their PR and marketing.

In his latest LinkedIn Pulse piece, our CEO Martin Jones discusses how the acronym-laden telecommunications industry – itself often referred to with the abbreviation “telco” – balances the use of jargon between industry peers and outside audiences.

This isn’t a problem that only plagues those in the field of telco. As Manny Veiga discussed in his recent video, “Stop Using Buzzwords in Your Content Marketing Writing,” the overuse of often meaningless jargon is reaching pandemic levels across the PR and marketing landscape.

And it’s not just industry-specific euphemisms that can leave readers with their heads spinning, a topic we explored with historical context in the blog post “Avoiding PR Mumbo Jumbo.” The same can be said of clichés and whether, even in small doses, these writing devices add any value.

We’ve even compiled the ultimate list of phrasing that in almost any context is worth reconsidering in “100 Stock Phrases Journalists, PR Pros and Content Marketers Need to Stop Using,” a post that proves pretty much everyone is guilty of overusing jargon at some point.

Is excess jargon muddying up your PR and marketing? What industry buzzwords are you growing weary of?

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