Tech PR: twice as much business jargon as average

If you think the picture's dull, imagine the press release

Last week I pointed out that some of our most hated business jargon terms really caught on during the dot-com boom, where a lot of crap was spoken by a lot of people with MBAs. Their qualification could stand for “Master of the Bullshit Arts”, ha ha ha. See what I did there? It doesn’t stand for that really.

Well it’s unfair to single out the dotcommers and their graduate degrees, I’ll admit. So, to redress the balance, look at this graph: the top seven business jargon words that I’ve used before, and their frequency in US press releases over that period. Along the x-axis, US press releases in general; along the y-axis, technology press releases. Not just dot-com: any type of techie or telecoms business, consumer or not.

Over 20 years, consistently in every year, for every phrase, techies use business jargon about twice as much as the average. That’s maybe understandable for a word like scalable, which has a technical meaning of sorts. But world-class? There’s no excuse.

Maybe more tech PR is business-to-business. But that is a rubbish excuse too.

Occasionally someone posts on Twitter that I blame PR people for causing our jargon problem. As I pointed out last week, British journalists haven’t been doing their jargon-filtering job either, and at least the non-techie PR people among you can feel better today. Not good mind you, just better than that other lot.

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