Chapter 2. Translating Transition

We are sick and tired of meaningless marketing-speak.

We hear it all the time—buzzwords, catchphrases, whatever you want to call them. We all have our favorites: ahead of the curve, lowhanging fruit, leverage, and the like. When you start to talk about technology it gets even more inane: What is bandwidth, anyway? Do you have meta-data? Am I an end user?

We are just as guilty as anyone in the marketing space. We use these words in meetings with colleagues. We sprinkle them into presentations to clients. This book is filled with them. Ask our wives and our friends—these words and phrases have probably found their way into a dinner conversation or ten over the years. You would be surprised how quickly and easily people like us can slip into ridiculous, pretentious language that has no meaning.

Sadly, we are not alone. Every business or nonprofit leader we have ever met or worked with, every political candidate or athlete we read about, even the purveyors of news on TV, in print, and now online have their own unique way of speaking. We all use some different variation on the same language. And guess who gets left out? That's right, our audience—the very people we are supposed to be talking to.

Organizations need to change the way they create relationships, explain themselves, and attract attention in the face of dramatic shifts in the way our society operates. That is no small task. And it is made more difficult by the fact that organizations are having ...

Get Media Rules!: Mastering Today's Technology to Connect With and Keep Your Audience now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.