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Monday, 30 November 2009

Techno Babble

cartoon showing absurdity of jargon

As we're a B2B PR specialist agency, we deal with a lot of technical clients and have had to deal with a fair amount of techno babble.

Reducing stuff down to initials is fine in a close-knit technical community, but specialisms are so narrow these days that even well qualified people can encounter terms that are meaningless. So why carry this stuff over to press releases and websites where people of real influence lose the will to live after the first sentence? Not to mention potential clients' procurement officers and finance people who have to sign off the purchase decision?

A few clients have argued they need to demonstrate they have the technical know-how and that's fine. It just doesn't need to be visible at the first glance of the home page. And surely the line up of second and third degrees on their people page does signal more than a smattering of knowledge?

This is where the Internet really scores: enabling hierarchical information to be arranged so that visitors can chose to click through to well signposted complexity as they travel through the information avenues on a website. And White Papers or Reports can underline your technical abilities without baffling those site visitors that need more general information. Not everyone needs to see all the branches, twigs, leaves and roots of the tree to know they're in a birch wood.

(Picture licensed under creative commons from - many thanks.)

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posted by Penny Haywood Calder at


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