Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Communications Strategy

As sure as we shit, blink and die (in that order) people just love talking to one another. Wah wah wah wah wah they go, all day bloody long talking about the cricket or cheese, or diseases, or supply chains or the washing up. And as long as someone's got something boring, bleak, inappropriate or dumb to say, there's a billion and nine boring, bleak, inappropriate or dumb ways to say it. For as the great William Burroughs pointed out, "language is a virus" - a rich, diverse, potent, and insidious organism, breeding and mutating at an unstoppable pace. Which goes some way to explain how the following sentence came into existence:

"Creating journeys that encourage audiences to springboard across their own media landscapes, taking them from attention to conversion."

Apart from sounding like something my old mate Simian Gladtrees would say, and apart from my brain going into emergency shut-down at the sudden extra-contextual mis-use of the word "springboard", I have to admit I was both intrigued and appalled by this sentence, a bit like a doctor discovering a woman with a hand for a vagina. How did it come into being? What was the author actually trying to say? Why have they mixed jargon with multiple metaphors?

I've currently got my lab-coat and rubber gloves on, trying to dissect this specimen. So until the test-results come through, can everyone please handle their language with a bit more care, so I don't have to clean up all the fucking mess.


Graham Creative said...

And it's also rampant in agencies. I was handed a brief with similar jargonised hyperbollocks which encouraged disenfranchisement for me...

John said...

It's fucking heartbreaking aint it, mate. I remember reading an article on W+K's blog where Neil Christie (quoting another article from Campaign) laid out all the "philosphies" / "mission statements" of all the big network agencies, and asked readers to guess who was behind each one. The punchline (for me) being they all shat out the exact same hollow, meaningless bullshit as eachother. Not only couldn't you tell the difference between any of them, you couldn't fucking understand them either. And this from people who create award-winning pieces of "communication". George Orwell'd kick our fucking heads in if he read some of the shite we come out with!