How Jargon Can Help Your Content Strategy1 Jul, 2013 By: Paul Joe Watson
Oftentimes, the term “jargon” doesn’t illicit positive emotions. The word implies that which is not understood; it is defined, in part, as “the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group.” The use of uncommon terminology varies between companies and industries, and is used often enough to make jargon a part of the everyday lives of many professionals. What people may not realize, however, is that jargon—though it may be confusing and even frustrating at times—is in some ways, a good thing. And, when used correctly, it can actually augment your content strategy.
At ESP/SurgeX, we often use the electrical industry’s jargon, and we incorporate it in our digital content strategy. For example, we’ve found that social media sites provide convenient places to explain some of these uncommon terms, allowing us to teach people about what we do. Blogs can also be good places to define the nomenclature your organization uses. But there’s more to jargon than explaining terms on blogs and social media—the use of it can augment your content strategy in basic ways relating to the creation of your material.
For instance, words can be viewed as building materials, but instead of crafting monuments and towers, when we write, we are assembling ideas, stories, and mental constructs. The content we create is an assimilation of various pieces from the expansive vocabulary of a particular language. With these materials we can build up, or tear down—we can confuse or enlighten. The possibilities are endless, and this is why writing quality content from a professional standpoint is so important—because the message we send is either going to benefit our companies (or clients), damage them, or go unnoticed. The words we use allow us to convey complex messages in multiple ways—ranging from the astute, academic tone of technical documents, to the fun, relaxed language often found in blogs.
Therefore, each new term you learn allows you to have another piece with which to build. So learning jargon, in essence, adds to your ability to create. And content strategies are dependent on one’s ability to consistently create quality material.
So I ask, "Have you ever used jargon in your content strategy?"
Paul Joe Watson holds an MA in Communication Studies and Mass Media and a bachelor’s degree in Advertising/Public Relations. He is the Marketing Coordinator for ESP/SurgeX in central North Carolina. Read more at espei.com.