OpEd: Director Fierce PR Anna Grace Du Noyer
Let me tell you, PR is all about communication. And as PR professionals, we're all guilty of using jargon and industry-specific language when communicating with clients, media, and other stakeholders. But let me tell you, using this type of language can often make it difficult for others to understand the message we're trying to convey. In this blog post, we'll explore some ways to combat PR jargon and make our communications more accessible to a wider audience.
Firstly, we must remember that PR is all about communication. We're not only communicating with those within our industry, but also with the general public. And when we use jargon, we risk alienating our audience and not getting our message across effectively.
So, how can we combat PR jargon? One way is to simplify language. Instead of using complex words or phrases, try to use simpler alternatives. For example, instead of saying "synergy," say "working together." Instead of "leverage," say "use." By simplifying language, we make it easier for others to understand the message we're trying to convey.
Another way to combat PR jargon is to avoid using acronyms and initialisms unless they are widely known and accepted, even if it is used in the industry. It is always better to spell out the full phrase or name the first time it is used, followed by the acronym in parenthesis. For example, instead of using "PR" you can say "Public Relations (PR)".
But it's not just about simplifying language, it's also important to consider the audience you are communicating with. If you're communicating with a technical audience, it may be appropriate to use industry-specific language. However, if you're communicating with the general public, it's important to use language that is easy for them to understand.
And let's not forget, using analogies, examples and visuals to explain complex concepts is a great way to make it easier for your audience to understand the message and retain the information.
Now, let's talk about the facts. In the UK, making PR accessible is becoming increasingly important as the public is becoming more discerning about the information they receive. According to a study by the Plain English Campaign, an organisation that promotes clear communication, only 27% of UK adults have a high level of literacy. This means that the majority of the population may struggle to understand complex language and jargon.
Another study by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) found that only 44% of the UK public trust the information provided by PR professionals. This highlights the importance of being transparent and using language that is easy for the public to understand.
Additionally, with the rise of social media, it's important for PR professionals to be aware of the different ways in which information is consumed. According to a report by Ofcom, a UK communications regulator, the average attention span of UK adults is just 8 seconds. This means that PR professionals need to be able to get their message across quickly and effectively, and using jargon can make this more difficult.
Finally, it's also worth noting that using accessible language can help to build trust and credibility with stakeholders. By making the effort to communicate in a way that is easy for others to understand, PR professionals can demonstrate that they are approachable and trustworthy.
In conclusion, making PR accessible in the UK is important as it helps to ensure that information is understood by the majority of the population, builds trust and credibility with stakeholders, and takes into account the ways in which information is consumed in the digital age. So, let's put our jargon away and start communicating in a way that's easy for everyone to understand.