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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Corporate Spin Explained for Authors @kayelleallen #humor #amwriting

Corporate spin -- the age old ability to make something wrong seem oh so right.

What is corporate spin?

It's the ability to use vague words in order to cover up a lack of actual facts, or to convey the idea that a bad thing has a good side that overrides objections. Take this line for example: "Moving forward, let's touch base about leveraging our chances at incentivising folks into purchasing these synergistically utilizable value-added, outside-the-box integrated solutions. They're low-hanging fruit, people! Let's put 110 percent into picking them while they're ripe." What does that mean? The person who wrote it has no idea either. Click the link for more hilarity on the subject.
The military has its own form of double speak, often using acronyms. When I was in the Navy, I found a book of slang terms and official Navy terms that included common acronyms. The book's name? NavAbrDic. o_O
Corporate spin may be as insidious as a butcher shop advertising that they're donating to an animal rights group. What's wrong with that? If we can't tell, perhaps we are too used to hearing this kind of speak.
I found a fun site when researching this subject. Here are two examples they provide of the "real meaning" behind some of the finest coporate spin.
Key Enabler
The person who will get all the credit for a project, no matter who else worked on it.
Outside the Box
Creativity. Those that do think outside the box are generally considered rabble-rousers and trouble-makers. While verbally encouraged, your reward for thinking outside the box may be a pink slip party.

And then there's Despair...

Have you ever been to http://despair.com and checked out some of their posters? They are a delight to read, with great lines that motivate through demotivational words.
Here's one called Consulting.
This is corporate speak used to change your mind about what is being said. The poster tells you that you are a loser, but makes you think twice about simply accepting that definition. It also makes you laugh. Check out their site for more terrific posters. Fair warning -- they're addictive!
How do we, as writers, avoid double speak and cliches? Sometimes it comes in handy. How's this:
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it's simply a matter of not using the same old thing day in and day out, except in this case, it's meant in an entirely different way, and for a radically different purpose.
What do you think? Care to try some of your own? Leave a comment.
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5 comments:

Kayelle Allen said...

Thanks for having me, Tina :)

jean hart stewart said...

Loved that Despair site....thank for calling it to my attention. Great post,,

Fiona McGier said...

I've bought their calendars, called, "Demotivators," for years. I agree, the Despair, Inc. stuff is cool. Much better than the trite, hackneyed posters usually on display in public places. At least these ones are more honest.

Speaking of trite cliches and words meant to obfuscate, I still remember being in a sales meeting when the boss and owner started talking about a commercial for one of our products being, "Impactful." Ahem. No such word. Maybe it's in more common usage now, but back then it didn't exist. Of course, that was when the entire department of men would turn to me, the only woman at the table, and ask what I thought of a laundry detergent commercial...would it encourage me to buy that brand? How the hell should I know? Is it going to be the cheapest one on the shelf? No? Then with what they were paying me, I'd take a pass. Sheesh! As if my between-the-legs plumbing gave me insight into what "your people," meaning women, would buy.

Kayelle Allen said...

Oh lord. Tell me about it! That site is a hoot. And having been the sole woman in many of my jobs, I get it. I'm a veteran, so I was often one of 2-3 women in any given area. And the Despair site is a great place to find real motivation. I hadn't been for a while so it was nice to go back. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Ah, corporate BS. Political BS. MSM BS. Guess if people actually communicated honestly their heads would explode...and they wouldn't make as much profit or screw over the masses as easily. Not holding my breath for that day to come.