As an industry there is one thing we all fall prey to from time to time and that’s the dreaded buzzword.
From “flagging” something you want someone to notice to suggesting what to do “moving forward” every now and then it happens to the best of us. So here at Kazoo we decided to do something about it, bringing back plain speaking in the office and raising some money for charity at the same time.
Enter “Ban the Buzzwords”.
Over the course of two weeks we introduced more and more words to our banned list, with the team paying a fine every time they used one of the dreaded terms. All fines were donated to The Samaritans, supporting people who need someone to talk to.
I’m proud to say that some of the bigger offenders didn’t make us too much money, we’re not prone to using “leverage” or “streamline” and there wasn’t a single “low hanging fruit” (thank goodness!)
Where we raked it in was the day to day bizarre things which have slipped into our vocabulary – we ended up with a complex buy out system with a lump sum donation for those who couldn’t resist “pinging” emails and “reaching out” to people they just wanted to call or email. No one was safe from our buzzword blackout with staff, management and clients alike being shamed into paying their dues.
We had a lot of fun, discovered who in our office was particularly fond of dobbing people in (Ricky!), and raised enough money to keep a Samaritans centre open for a whole working day so it was an all round great fortnight.
I like to think it has made us all think twice about how we communicate as well. It’s very easy to lapse into all sorts of marketing speak but we work in communications, and quite simply that means we should be speaking in a way that actually means something.
Many thanks for interfacing with my blogosphere communication, hopefully you will be able to leverage these thoughts and cascade them through your communications going forward…JOKE!