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Don’t worry, understanding your technical jargon is part of our day job

Account director Rose Hayes talks about the innate curiosity of a good PR professional and how it allows us to create informed copy that’s enjoyable to read and unpacks industry jargon.

Translating technical jargon for a wider audience

On numerous occasions throughout my 13 plus years in PR, I’ve been told in pitches or by new clients that they don’t see how I’ll ever be able to understand their jargon or really grasp the things that drive their customers towards making a purchase.

I absolutely agree that I will never fully appreciate the nuances of their whole industry and of course, I am not technically trained in any of the products or services that I’ve had to write about – of which, I might add, have ranged from the mathematical calculation for the energy efficiency of buildings, to the electrical conduit that covers cables, to the issues facing supply chain managers as demand for food and drink deliveries sky rocket. But, the innate curiosity of a good PR professional, combined with their skill to write succinctly and with a clear message, makes it possible for us to create an informed article that’s also enjoyable to read and unpacks industry jargon.

This blog is intended to put both current and prospective clients’ minds as rest. If your PR person is worth their salt, they can take any information you throw at them and with the journalistic part of their brain, find the strongest story and translate it for the required audience.

 

That said, there are plenty of things that a client can do to not only help their PR do a stellar job but to cut out additional research and interviewing so they can produce content efficiently and cost-effectively. Here are some top tips:

1. Don’t worry, you’re not on record

Whenever I approach a client or spokesperson for a brief at the start of our relationship, I’ll make it very clear that the process doesn’t start and end with this single conversation. Nothing will be printed or shared verbatim based on what they’ve said and sometimes, like all discussions, we might eventually decide on a completely different story or require additional calls to dig deeper.

2. We want to know about “pain points”

Most new business briefs that cross my desk ask for help in being ‘thought leaders’. In an age where we buy based on people and want added value before we commit to purchase, this request from clients makes complete sense. To do this, we need to know the problems keeping your customers awake so we can simply provide them with the answer in a way that they connect with and journalists see as topical and relevant enough to be included as free editorial. What can seem like the everyday requests or concerns of a customer is very likely PR gold for us.

 3. We love additional reading

My favourite clients are the ones that come to the very first induction meeting with bags full of brochures, guides, and relevant articles. Background reading and research is something that we do on our own time and which helps us to quickly get up to speed. Similarly, talking to and interviewing as many people as possible is great so we always work with clients to recruit willing spokespeople as early into our relationship as possible.

4. Translating jargon is what we do…but we might ask dumb questions to begin with

I admit that we will come across jargon and technical information that we really don’t understand. So, there will be some very basic questions at the start of our relationship (and perhaps later!) but even this process of asking what and why is important. After all, we’re likely to be writing for all levels of seniority and comprehension so cutting through all the industry-speak to communicate plainly and clearly is always valuable.

Are you looking for a PR agency that can get your messages across accurately on the first draft and get a handle on your jargon? Get in touch with us to find out more.

By Rose Hayes

Rose brings over 10 years' experience in PR working across the Midlands and UK for a range of clients in B2B and B2C sectors, including FTSE 100 companies specialising in building products, heating, and ventilation such as Travis Perkins plc and Tarmac.

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