Copywriting tip: wise up to jargon!

| November 11, 2009

Copywriting tip: Jargon is a dangerous beast

Jargon is scary stuff. Sometimes it’s useful, most of the time it just alienates the uninitiated. Here’s a handy copywriting tip about how to handle it.

Used as a short cut, in a few rare circumstances, jargon clarifies your message beautifully… but only for a limited audience. It throws most people into confusion. It’s sort of OK to use jargon when communicating with the people below, who use the same jargon as you, but only as long as you’re 100% certain they’ll all understand what you’re on about.

  • Peers and staff
  • Other businesses in your industry
  • Trade organisations
  • Trade media

Jargon can help you get your message across quickly and clearly to people who have a good understanding of your world. But don’t use jargon to communicate with:

  • Consumers, customers, prospects and target markets outside your industry
  • Non-trade media

Use plain language to communicate the benefits of your products and services. It’ll make the uninitiated feel at home and informed, happier to put their hands in their pockets.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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