It doesn’t matter how much noise you throw at something if there’s no real message behind it.
As copywriters, we spend a lot of time editing. Cutting noise. Slaughtering jargon. Finding meaning. It’s not just about economy of language. It’s about tone, too. Time for an example from the Bank of Incomprehensibility:
We are simplifying, optimising & evolving our Accounts Payable Invoice processing. Our ultimate goal is right first time processing enabling swifter payments to our suppliers. As with all aspects of our business we can’t afford to stand still in Accounts Payable either so we are implementing technological advancements to improve our invoice processing efficiencies.
Er… what? Leaving aside the lack of punctuation, gratuitous ampersand and horrifying Random Caps, what is this message trying to say? Here’s the translation:
We want to pay our suppliers more quickly. So we’re introducing a new system that makes processing invoices simpler and faster.
So simple. So clear. So why didn’t they just say that in the first place?
Now put the meaning aside. How does the original text make you feel? Is it warm? Is it friendly? Is it appealing? No. No it is not. But the translation leads with a benefit. It’s simple. It’s natural. It’s conversational. It’s human.
Everyone has their own tone of voice. Finding yours is about the things that matter to you. It’s about how you want to be perceived and the connection you want to make with your audience. It’s an extension of your brand.
So it’s important to get it right.