The Adcouver Blog has a satisfying little rant called Meaningless Words:
What you offer your customer is way better than everyone else's, isn't it? So why not describe it like it is?
Don't be fluffy. Don't be vague. Tell me something that makes you stand out and causes me to realize that.
Use words like quality, service, and value on their own, and you'll just be another crappy ad.
It's not just crappy ads that suffer from meaningless words. They creep into fundraising all the time. "Quality" is one you'll often find, floating like a smelly algae on the fundraising pond.
Here are some more meaningless phrases that weaken fundraising copy in an envelope near you:
- Make a difference. A difference only describes a change. Could be good, could be bad. If you must use this phrase, make sure it's clearly and specifically a positive difference.
- Cutting edge. Puffery. If you have to say so, you aren't.
- Answers. Unless it's specific answers to actual questions, answers doesn't mean anything.
- Partner (used as a verb). Another sanctimonious way to avoid content.
All these meaningless words and phrases are used to avoid specificity. Don't do that. If you don't know what you're writing about, find out. If there's really nothing to say -- go make something better. Your donors deserve no less!
Technorati Tag: copywriting