Man in fake moustache, eyebrows and glasses with cigar

At CraftingWords, we don’t believe in hot air. Platitudes are meaningless. We strongly believe in show not tell; to demonstrate why you are the very best at what you do, through actions not just via marketing fluff like everybody else.

But what exactly do we mean by “hot air”?

  • Jargon.
  • Buzzwords.
  • Baseless claims.
  • Meaningless phrases.
  • Keyword-stuffing content.

The content below is from a highly respected global accounting firm when they were recruiting for people via LinkedIn. The name of the company has been redacted to save their public embarrassment. See how far you can get through this before you give up, and please, please get in touch if you have any clue whatsoever by the end of this diatribe about what the company actually do, or what they want in a prospective employee.

How to waffle into oblivion

Woman with arms out to her side looking confused

Ready? Here are the opening couple of paragraphs of this company’s pitch to recruit someone:

[company]’s ambition is to become a shaper of dialogue on the toughest issues facing its clients, communities and people. [company] Insights is a cross-functional approach, elevating [company]’s thought leadership to create a more distinctive [company] voice across the globe with data driven insights and brand enhancing points of view. [company] Insights ambition is to refine the [company] brand and market position through strategic, focused, aligned, distinctive and impactful thought leadership.

Partnering with and governed by a global editorial board and with sponsorship from the global executive, the analysts, strategists and communication specialists that are part of the elite [company] Insights team are focused on creating, maintaining and elevating a consistent, coordinated and client centric [company] insights strategy across the globe.

With them so far? Nice to see jargon-free prose that cuts straight to the heart of the company’s ethos so that, by the end of those paragraphs, the reader has absolutely no idea what’s going on, nor how the company aims to get there beyond repeating meaningless industry buzzwords.

Impenetrable content is the enemy

Confused man in glasses

You want more? Okay then, here’s a few more paragraphs from this company’s job spec…

You will lead the [company] Insights editorial pillar and work across the global organization to elevate the quality, relevance and impact of [company]’s insights across different content formats and drive consistent execution…

You will have the opportunity to connect across the global organization working with distributed editorial teams to provide support, best practice guidance and encourage alignment, buy in and understanding of the strategic thought leadership agenda and the content creation and activation process…

In this role, you will have the opportunity to develop a very broad network of influence, be actively involved in leading trends and topics, listening, assessing and being very agile in bringing differing interests and perspectives together to align under impactful messages that resonate with key audiences.

Seriously? Somebody wrote that. And somebody else, presumably, approved it for publication. It goes on and on. There are over twenty paragraphs just like the above.

Crafting Words: on a mission to end waffle

Man looking confused at laptop

The above copy is painful to read, says practically nothing, and is sadly all too prevalent. Even Microsoft fall foul of waffle. Under the title “What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?” This is their description:

It’s how you become more agile to delight your customers. With Dynamics 365, you’ll have the only portfolio of intelligent business applications that empowers everyone to deliver operational excellence and create more engaging customer experiences.

Yes, but what is it? If you ran a small charitable organisation, would it help manage your donation drives? Your inventory? Could you afford it? None of that is answered anywhere. Instead there are high level, bitesize chunks of jargon littered throughout:

Accelerate your business growth with connected business applications to optimize your operations, innovate across teams, and better engage customers. Accelerate business results… by working with trusted Microsoft partners and prebuilt industry solutions.

Enough is enough.

Granted, it is difficult to define – and hence describe – something like Dynamics because, by its nature, it can be all things to everyone. But they’ve fallen into the trap of leading with features, then defining them using woolly statements that makes it seem as if they don’t even know what their own product is.

Later pages are much better, using more direct language such as: “… learn how these intelligent business applications go beyond traditional CRM and ERP”. That frames the product in terms that an outsider understands. Sets expectations based on something familiar, and is therefore far more likely to garner engagement than generic, buzzword-laden drivel.

The world needs better, no-nonsense content like that. So if you want to stand out and show your customers why you are their best choice, we have the expertise to unearth your unique company story and make it happen. Get in touch and we’ll steer you towards customers for life.