Cut the Crap!
We all spend our workdays in a hailstorm of bullshit.
There’s marketing bullshit – a world in which we don’t say “tell a good story,” we say “do content marketing.”
There’s philanthropy bullshit – fueled by foundations’ unquenchable appetite for intellectual novelty, this is a rich and ever-growing vein of language torture. If you have never seen the Philanthropy Jargon Generator, you’re in for a depressing treat. Here are the first three gems the generator tossed out for me:
- “measure socially responsible stakeholder groups”
- “nurture measurable sabbaticals for senior managers”
- “transform client-focused program criteria”
There’s policy wonk bullshit. We say “biodiversity,” people say “animals.” This list could go on and on.
And there’s politically correct progressive bullshit – for instance we must now call the “developing world” the “global south.”
As communicators, bullshit is not your friend. Your donors are real people and real people talk like, well, real people. When you sit down to write something for actual people to read, you need to produce copy that is 100% bullshit free.
It’s harder than it sounds.