Tag Archives: biz speak

Engagement Doesn’t Equal a Guaranteed Win

By Jason Menard

Perhaps the term engagement gets a bad reputation because we’ve been so bad at defining what it means. I have some suggestions, but the one thing I do know is that engagement does not mean the equivalent of a guaranteed win.

It’s a topic that I think we’ve discussed almost ad nauseam, with little sense of resolution. But that may be a result of not truly understanding what engagement is, socially and politically.

That’s the problem with using empty, Biz-Speak-type words. They’re too open to interpretation and allow arguments to persist in an environment devoid of parameters. I have been quite vocal in my dislike of the term engagement, but the truth is that I really just dislike the way it’s been defined – or undefined as the case generally is. Continue reading

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What Happens in the Board Room Should Stay in the Board Room

By Jason Menard

When it comes to trying to connect with their audiences, business spokespeople need to paraphrase the old (and somewhat overused) Las Vegas tag line: “Whatever happens in the board room stays in the board room.”

Too many people – and this condition is not the exclusive domain of business types – are afflicted with the belief that using big words makes one sound smarter. There are many insidious reasons for why this started: from the Bullshit Baffles Brains theory to the “We Don’t Want to Tell the Truth, So We’re Going to Spend 15 Minutes Filling the Air with Empty Words” but what’s now happened is that good, solid, hard-working people have contracted this disease. Continue reading

How Occupy London Can Go About Occupying Londoners’ Hearts

By Jason Menard

Earlier this week, the Occupy London movement sent out a Tweet requesting help from more experienced volunteers to help them craft a message – which is a fantastic showing of self-awareness from this group as too much of their message is being defined by outside interests.

Occupy London is a polarizing group – and that polarization comes from their lack of anything tangible to which the average person can relate. You either agree that everything needs to change, or you see this as rudderless, aimless, misplaced, self-serving behaviour. Continue reading

What if We Stopped Filling Space with Empty Words?

By Jason Menard

Empty words plague sports and business writing alike, so when it comes to providing value to the audience, why do we prize who says something over what they say?

Earlier today Doug Smith, a Toronto Star sports writer/columnist, wrote an insightful blog post under the heading “Talk is cheap and sometimes not necessary,” in which he examines the value of canned quotes over author-penned insight.  Continue reading

Too Many Marketing Words Obscures Pearson’s Users’ Message

By Jason Menard

You know the old adage about what you should call a spade? Well, run that tool through a marketing department and it’ll be time to call a spade an efficiency-increasing earth adjusting implement.

And in the case of a Toronto Star article that ran today discussing the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the fog created by biz speak can run the risk of creating a tool that ends up doing the wrong job for its users. Continue reading

Big Words Just Seem More Empty

By Jason Menard

For the most part, business communications prefers to prefer quantity over quality. That increased volume of chatter is usually filled with hot air – and can explain why some companies ‘blow’ so much when it comes to social media.

One of the most exciting things about the social media revolution, to me, was that it seemed to be pushing companies towards a way of connecting with their clients and customers in a way that was more open and honest. It’s still a challenge for many businesses simply because, for years, there’s been a belief in the power of Biz Speak. Continue reading

Some Businesses Need a Kick in the Assets

By Jason Menard

To paraphrase John Hurt in the film The Elephant Man, “I am not a stakeholder, I am not an asset or a resource. I’m a human being. I… am… a… man.”

I’m Jay. Nice to meet you. However, if you go by the way businesses speak about its employees, one would think that people are no more important than the computer they’re working on, or the phone with which they’re calling you. Continue reading