Drowning in jargon? You might sound like this unwitting parody

Hospital mailer shows how buzzwords build barriers to clear communication.

Hospital mailer shows how buzzwords build barriers to clear communication

Marketing mail from hospitals doesn’t usually make me queasy. A suburban Detroit health system’s recent event invitation, however, could leave readers dizzy and disoriented.

Buzzwords and jargon tumble over themselves in juiced-up sentences on steroids. It’s clear no professional communicator reviewed the announcement of a Senior Emergency Department opening this month, which describes—or tries to—benefits from “our patient-centered Senior ED”:

Ouch. Talk about needing emergency care—call a code on those phrases, stat!

While no words are misspelled and event details are clear, I wonder how many times the mailer was reviewed and approved by people who never talk like that except at work. If that’s language you use, hear and read professionally, it may seem OK . . . normal . . . natural.

Copywriting preparation should begin with two questions:

Support the mission

In this case, if the objective were to show mastery of academic-style grad school language and the audience were fellow MBAs, MDs and transformation consultants, then mission accomplished.

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