'Learning to speak human' New Rules of Engagement in Communications <ul><ul><li>Adriana Lukas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>O...
Communication is not a skill
It is a survival trait
Skill only in certain contexts
<ul><li>hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>media & third parties </li></ul><ul><li>collective message & voice </li></ul><ul><li>'...
<ul><li>For 100 years companies have   been pushing what they think people are interested in out through one way communica...
<ul><li>It’s about unlearning a lot of behaviors and re-acquiring the voice that businesses used in the days before mass a...
communication is now default power to create tools, direct communication, bypassing media & intermediaries context data, s...
Existing relationships <ul><li>existing relationships with media & journalists </li></ul><ul><li>existing relationships wi...
New relationships <ul><li>web is direct communication </li></ul><ul><li>P2P & many-to-many </li></ul><ul><li>model of rela...
<ul><li>Organizations will work tirelessly to de-personalize every communication medium they encounter. The public works t...
<ul><ul><li>The expression  weasel word  derives from the egg-eating habits of weasels.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An egg...
<ul><li>vague generalizations </li></ul><ul><li>use of the passive voice </li></ul><ul><li>non sequitur statements </li></...
Examples of corporate speak
<ul><li>As XYZ Inc.  grows  and becomes a  leader  in the industry, the need for  communications  becomes even greater. Ou...
<ul><li>'The nature of our business has enabled us to develop enduring, meaningful relationships with our clients supporte...
<ul><li>seamless/seamlessly integrated </li></ul><ul><li>unique </li></ul><ul><li>soared </li></ul><ul><li>synergistic </l...
service offerings touch base value added bottom line core competency  open the kimono push the envelope blue sky  win win ...
<ul><li>Our company is an  industry-leader  in  innovative utilisation  of words,  strategically leveraging  their  unique...
PR spammers wiki <ul><li>In the spirit of sharing, here's a current list of PR companies who have sent me unsolicited (and...
Examples of human speak
<ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz & safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclaime...
<ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz & safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please re...
<ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz - safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please re...
<ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz & safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please re...
Dell <ul><li>Now, if you'll allow me to shift gears just a bit, here's our own 22 23 Confessions list: </li></ul><ul><li>1...
You are doing what?! <ul><li>It was a busy night. </li></ul><ul><li>As a former journalist, I appreciated how undeniably j...
Amazon <ul><li>Amazon Sends &quot;Best Customer Service E-mail I've Ever Received&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>http://consumeri...
Timbuk2 <ul><li>broken messenger bag </li></ul><ul><li>blogger response to customer service: </li></ul><ul><li>That I was ...
<ul><ul><li>http://www.mediainfluencer.net/2006/01/goowy-spam-faux-pas/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.samizdata.ne...
CBS: cuts the B.S. <ul><li>CBS issued the following statement to the New York Post: </li></ul><ul><li>We think readers are...
Comcast Cares <ul><li>customers service where customers are talking about Comcast using the same voice as them  </li></ul>...
Existing press release The blander your press release,  the more easily others can spin it
New press release? <ul><li>facts, just the facts, ma'am </li></ul><ul><li>direct communication </li></ul><ul><li>direct di...
P.S. <ul><li>If social media, human voice, authenticity, transparency and direct relationships have done so much for indiv...
<ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.mediainfluencer.net/about </li></ul></ul>
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Learning to speak human

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  • Weasel words is an informal term for words that are ambiguous and cannot be substantiated by facts. They are typically used to create an illusion of clear, direct communication.
  • Transcript of "Learning to speak human"

    1. 1. 'Learning to speak human' New Rules of Engagement in Communications <ul><ul><li>Adriana Lukas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>October 2008 </li></ul></ul>
    2. 2. Communication is not a skill
    3. 3. It is a survival trait
    4. 4. Skill only in certain contexts
    5. 5. <ul><li>hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>media & third parties </li></ul><ul><li>collective message & voice </li></ul><ul><li>'objective' & balanced </li></ul><ul><li>What if the context changed? </li></ul>Existing communications context
    6. 6. <ul><li>For 100 years companies have been pushing what they think people are interested in out through one way communications channels. </li></ul><ul><li>But now that people are redefining the rules of engagement, companies have to rediscover how to interact with people. cont'd </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>It’s about unlearning a lot of behaviors and re-acquiring the voice that businesses used in the days before mass advertising and promotion in the conversations that occurred between the village storekeepers and the people in the community. - Marc Monseau in Hanging with Mommy Bloggers </li></ul>
    8. 8. communication is now default power to create tools, direct communication, bypassing media & intermediaries context data, storage, human mind, personal interpretation distribution audience, web, blogs, micro-blogging, social networks etc. + + =
    9. 9. Existing relationships <ul><li>existing relationships with media & journalists </li></ul><ul><li>existing relationships with business leaders </li></ul><ul><li>why not relationships with those you need to reach and influence? </li></ul>
    10. 10. New relationships <ul><li>web is direct communication </li></ul><ul><li>P2P & many-to-many </li></ul><ul><li>model of relationship already understood: one-to-one </li></ul><ul><li>social media tools help 'scale' direct relationships </li></ul><ul><li>apply to existing objectives in the new context </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Organizations will work tirelessly to de-personalize every communication medium they encounter. The public works tirelessly to flee to actual interactions between real people, and our organizations work even more diligently (and with more leverage) to corporatize and anonymize the interactions. The irony, of course, is that an organization with guts can go in the opposite direction and win. - Seth Godin </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><ul><li>The expression weasel word derives from the egg-eating habits of weasels. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An egg that a weasel has sucked will look intact to the casual observer, while actually being empty. Similarly, words or claims that turn out to be empty upon analysis are known as &quot;weasel words&quot;. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>vague generalizations </li></ul><ul><li>use of the passive voice </li></ul><ul><li>non sequitur statements </li></ul><ul><li>use of grammatical devices such as qualifiers and the subjunctive mood </li></ul><ul><li>use of euphemisms </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. replacing &quot;firing staff&quot; with &quot;streamlining the workforce&quot; </li></ul>'Empty eggs'
    14. 14. Examples of corporate speak
    15. 15. <ul><li>As XYZ Inc. grows and becomes a leader in the industry, the need for communications becomes even greater. Our customers view our professionalism and ability to deliver , among other things, on how we well communicate our status and commitments to them ... Let's move forward and demonstrate to our customers that we are talented professionals and have pride in what we do. Remember COMMUNICATE . </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.weaselwords.com.au/corporations.htm </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>'The nature of our business has enabled us to develop enduring, meaningful relationships with our clients supported by our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of quality of advice and ethics and integrity in everything we do... </li></ul><ul><li>Together, we are excited and enthusiastic about our ongoing co-operation and collaboration and the prospect of further jointly developed initiatives that will create benefits for our clients now, and in to the future... This is an exciting development in the growth of our company...' </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>seamless/seamlessly integrated </li></ul><ul><li>unique </li></ul><ul><li>soared </li></ul><ul><li>synergistic </li></ul><ul><li>robust </li></ul><ul><li>solutions </li></ul><ul><li>turnkey </li></ul><ul><li>best-of-breed </li></ul><ul><li>mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>leading </li></ul><ul><li>interactive </li></ul><ul><li>value-added </li></ul><ul><li>revolutionary </li></ul><ul><li>wide-ranging </li></ul><ul><li>solution provider </li></ul><ul><li>integrated </li></ul><ul><li>thought-provoking </li></ul><ul><li>utilize </li></ul><ul><li>highly-seasoned </li></ul><ul><li>facilitate </li></ul><ul><li>strategic </li></ul><ul><li>leverage </li></ul><ul><li>proactive </li></ul><ul><li>empowered </li></ul><ul><li>organic growth </li></ul><ul><li>best practice </li></ul><ul><li>granular </li></ul><ul><li>bandwidth </li></ul><ul><li>industry-leading </li></ul><ul><li>next-generation </li></ul><ul><li>world-class </li></ul><ul><li>unmatched </li></ul><ul><li>innovative </li></ul><ul><li>paradigm/paradigm shifting </li></ul><ul><li>win-win </li></ul>
    18. 18. service offerings touch base value added bottom line core competency open the kimono push the envelope blue sky win win out of the box best practice stakeholder on the same page synergy run it up the flagpole the big picture revolutionary low hanging fruit leveraging best in class
    19. 19. <ul><li>Our company is an industry-leader in innovative utilisation of words, strategically leveraging their unique value proposition to uphold its position as the world-class communications solutions provider with unmatched, seamlessly integrated and robust best practice. Turnkey is out, revolutionary is in. Being proactive is the only way to be empowered . Let our highly-seasoned people who can turn the paradigm shifting and the revolutionary into organic growth , facilitate your transition to the next-generation challenges. A win-win solution , surely. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.mediainfluencer.net/2007/07/words-that-pr-killed/ </li></ul>
    20. 20. PR spammers wiki <ul><li>In the spirit of sharing, here's a current list of PR companies who have sent me unsolicited (and almost always irrelevant) product pitches. Please add your own. </li></ul><ul><li>http://prspammers.pbwiki.com/FrontPage </li></ul>
    21. 21. Examples of human speak
    22. 22. <ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz & safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclaimer I'm required to include the following disclaimer and safe harbor provisions (which do, in fact, exceed the blog in length) as a part of this communication. I was going to be frustrated at the requirement, until it occurred to me we'd just set a bit of corporate communications history - blogs are now an official communications vehicle at Sun. We should tell the SEC to update the regs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/the_future_of_the_internet </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz & safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please read the Safe Harbor Statement at the bottom of this page - it's important (and beautifully written :) . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/update </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz - safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please read the scintillating Safe Harbor Statement at the bottom of this page.... </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><ul><li>Jonathan Schwartz & safe-harbor statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please read the luculent Safe Harbor Statement at the bottom of this page.... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/comments_on_q2 </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Dell <ul><li>Now, if you'll allow me to shift gears just a bit, here's our own 22 23 Confessions list: </li></ul><ul><li>1) Ok, we goofed. We shouldn’t have sent a notice. To my earlier point, we appreciate the reminder from the community. Point taken. Yesterday, we also responded to a related IdeaStorm idea from user jmxz. To see more, take a look for comments from our own dell_admin1 and my good pal richard_b. </li></ul><ul><li>23) Did I mention that we goofed? </li></ul><ul><li>http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/06/16/18397.aspx </li></ul>
    27. 27. You are doing what?! <ul><li>It was a busy night. </li></ul><ul><li>As a former journalist, I appreciated how undeniably juicy the story would be: Johnson & Johnson sues the American Red Cross and other parties over…. What?! … the use of the RED CROSS?! </li></ul><ul><li>It was almost too easy. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.jnjbtw.com/?p=96 </li></ul>
    28. 28. Amazon <ul><li>Amazon Sends &quot;Best Customer Service E-mail I've Ever Received&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>http://consumerist.com/consumer/good/amazon-sends-best-customer-service-e+mail-ive-ever-received-332639.php </li></ul>
    29. 29. Timbuk2 <ul><li>broken messenger bag </li></ul><ul><li>blogger response to customer service: </li></ul><ul><li>That I was not expecting. A swift, generous reply beyond understand my predicament of being across the pond and unable to quickly return the bag for repair. A free replacement, no questions asked. These guys now have not only a customer for life, but a UK rep. </li></ul><ul><li>http://goodonpaper.org/entries/generosity-comes-with-international-shipping/ </li></ul>
    30. 30. <ul><ul><li>http://www.mediainfluencer.net/2006/01/goowy-spam-faux-pas/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/008429.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/008429.html#101048 </li></ul></ul>Goowy fiasco
    31. 31. CBS: cuts the B.S. <ul><li>CBS issued the following statement to the New York Post: </li></ul><ul><li>We think readers are extraordinarily bored with this infantile and nasty pilling on… and will continue to focus not on baseless rumor and conjecture, but on the quality and depth of the broadcast – which is second to none. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.starkmanassociates.com/blogs/eric/cbs-katie-couric/ </li></ul>
    32. 32. Comcast Cares <ul><li>customers service where customers are talking about Comcast using the same voice as them </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/comcastcares </li></ul>
    33. 33. Existing press release The blander your press release, the more easily others can spin it
    34. 34. New press release? <ul><li>facts, just the facts, ma'am </li></ul><ul><li>direct communication </li></ul><ul><li>direct distribution </li></ul><ul><li>link to blog or your 'domain' </li></ul><ul><li>your side of the story </li></ul>
    35. 35. P.S. <ul><li>If social media, human voice, authenticity, transparency and direct relationships have done so much for individuals, imagine how much it can do for companies </li></ul>
    36. 36. <ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.mediainfluencer.net/about </li></ul></ul>
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