Everyone’s Business – CBI call to ‘kill business speak’ / ‘kill jargon’

Posted on February 5, 2018 in Copywriting

‘Kill business speak, ‘Ditch the jargon’ is one of the three conclusions of Everyone’s Business (CBI), a new piece of research by the Confederation of British Industry into what people think about business.

Or, in the more emphatic words of PRWeek magazine, business should ‘Divest the crap’.

The CBI survey of public attitudes, conducted with Porter Novelli and Opinium in 2017, comes on the back of the recent recession and looks ahead to a post-Brexit era.

The conclusion is based on research that also found:

  • A lack of trust between businesses and people – between what they do and what people believe of them (what the survey called a ‘real disconnect’).
  • Public trust in businesses and whether they contribute to society is higher when they know the sector better. (Less than 20% said they had a good relationship with sectors such as: construction, manufacturing, utilities, IT, and professional and public services.)
  • Leaders of large businesses are considered to be ‘far removed’ from the world of ordinary people (>70%) – but small businesses have a better reputation.
  • Customers aren’t treated as individuals often enough by businesses – many focussing on the narrower objectives of customer service and value.
  • Better communications would improve relations with the public, using ‘accessible, human language’ – and not done by CEOs.

The CBI is calling on firms to ditch business speak, communicate a clear purpose and remember their human side, with a clear focus on employees.

The study’s two other conclusions for businesses are:

  1. ‘Think local, act local’ – address what matters to people in their local communities.
  2. ‘External relationships’ – a better relationship with society will drive prosperity, in which the media and the government have a role to play.

Beginning in 2018, the CBI is now starting to run some regional events to spread its campaign to its members and beyond.

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