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Speak to me like a human … please

Posted by Steve Buchholz on February 7, 2009

I am spending many thousands of dollars this year renting space from a shopping mall for a display¬†for the¬†college I work for. The cost is a good chunk of my college’s marketing budget, so it’s kind of a big deal for us. How do you think I felt when I received a memo addressed to “Dear Tenant” that included this paragraph:

“Additionally, please note that, if applicable, per your lease the 2009 estimated variable costs were calculated by increasing the 2008 projected variable cost rate by the percentage increase in forecasted expenses between 2008 and 2009.”

Huh?

Seriously, I have no idea what that means, except that I think the message explains why my bill is higher now.

What does this have to do with marketing? Everything. First, have the courtesy of addressing me or my organization by name. Second, write in language everyone can understand. Writing like the excerpt above destroys credibility and makes people distrust you. Write like you would talk to someone so people know you are a human being, not some corporate tool who sees me as nothing more than a way to make a few bucks.

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