Yesterday, Yahoo! announced a reorganization of top management. The press release is choked with cutting-edge, innovative, industry-standard gobbledygook.
Check out the third paragraph: Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board, said, "The Board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo! can capitalize, and our primary objective is to leverage the Company's leadership and current business assets and platforms to execute against these opportunities. We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders."
The release is so full of gobbledygook words and phrases as to be completely ineffective.
The problem with this is that the words chosen in this release are so overused as to have become meaningless. When I last analyzed gobbledygook, "innovate" and related words like "innovation" was the most overused word in press releases. The paragraph above uses the word "innovation" twice.
The information being conveyed in the Yahoo! release is tough. The board sacked the CEO and is looking for a replacement. Yahoo! missed an opportunity to communicate like humans and deliver some real information.
When companies vague up their communications like Yahoo! did, it doesn't give people reason to cheer. It may even make them wonder what else is happening in that boardroom. Investors might sell or short the stock.
Your buyers (and the media and analysts who cover your company) want to know what specific problems your product solves, and they want proof that it works—in plain language.
Every time you write—yes, even in news releases—you have an opportunity to communicate. At each stage of the sales process, well-written materials will help people understand how you, specifically, will help them.
A big hat tip to David Dalka for pointing us to this press release.