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Deborah Brody Marketing Communications

Percolating Creative Ideas

November 16, 2017


Dear friends:

The end of the year has snuck up on me! I can’t really believe Thanksgiving is next week, but it is, and this means that the year is rapidly coming to a close. However, if you have writing, editing or communications projects that you need to finish before December 31, or a budget for those that needs to be allocated, please contact me ASAP so I can schedule you in.

Thanksgiving celebrates and encourages gratitude. Even as we’ve been engulfed by waves of bad news this year, it is more necessary to take the time to be thankful for all that has gone well. This year, I am grateful for my continuing and new clients, for the ability to do something I enjoy doing, and for the instinct to trust my gut. What are you grateful for? What has gone well with you? If you’d like to share, please drop me a line.

Something that bothers me to no end is to hear empty presentations—that is, presentations filled with words but with no meaning. Below is my take on it. And on the blog, I give you some guidance about giving gifts as a marketing tactic.

With that, I wish you and your family a joyous and peaceful holiday season, and all the best for the coming New Year.




When you are enamored of your industry jargon

A few days ago, I attended a marketing talk. Purportedly, it was about content marketing. In practice, it was all gobbledygook. Three of the four presenters, and the moderator, were intent on proving their knowledge, not of content marketing, but rather of industry terms and abbreviations. Every presenter threw in a liberal dose of terms such as: sales enablement (that was new to me), lead gen, demand gen, business intelligence solutions, and many others I can’t recall or didn’t understand at all.

The moderator, whose title was simply given as CRO (I had to look it up—it stands for chief revenue officer), actually asked someone this question: What is your revenue model? If he had used plain English, he would have asked: How do you make money?

Certain industries are rife with jargon. If you know any lawyers or government contractors you will agree. Here in D.C., we love our acronyms. Everyone loves to throw out an HHS here, a DOJ there (that’s the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice). And the reason D.C. people do this, and why most people use jargon, is to show that they are insiders, that they have knowledge that only people in that place or industry know.

However, as Amy Schoenberger writes in Forbes (Six Words Marketers Need To Remove From Their Vocabulary), close to 90% of people may not truly understand what you are saying, and just pretend to. Those same people may then use jargon as a cover for the fact that the just don’t know what they are talking about. Peppering your conversations with terms people use but that don’t really mean much is exactly what makes you look like a tool.

Does this mean you should never use jargon? No, in fact there are time when you actually do need to use jargon, especially when talking to your peers. Marketing Profs provides some guidelines on how to use jargon properly in How to Use Jargon for Good, Not Evil in Your Content and Marketing.

Bottom line: use jargon judiciously, not rampantly.


Communications tip: Keep it simple

My favorite line from the movie Philadelphia is this: “explain it to me like I am six years old.” If you can simplify things enough for a child to get it, then you know what you are talking about.


Let's work together!

Deborah Brody Marketing Communications services:

▪ Writing and copy editing of marketing/communications materials
▪ Communications and social media consulting
▪ Communications and social media audits
▪ Customized blog training and workshops
Writing and copy editing of marketing/communications materials
Communications and social media consulting
Communications and social media audits
Customized blog training and workshops

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