No need to use pigeon English!

At the moment I am working on a project which involves collating the marketing entries for a large trade show and I am staggered at the amount of people who are wasting a free opportunity to explain and promote their business by a poor choice of words.

Each participating company has 25 words that will be printed in the show catalogue, and whilst some of them have evidently given a lot of thought to a concise and helpful sentence, many have not!

There are some which have just provided a few random words or a list of product names. Some have sent poorly constructed, short, half-sentences that go nowhere. Many do nothing to explain the product or service that is being offered.  

Why does it matter?

To put it into context, there are a couple of hundred exhibitors offering a variety of products such as food and drink, clothing and jewellery, health and beauty products, specialist equipment, art and sculpture – the range is huge.  So saying “Specialists since 1989, come and see us on stand 123” means nothing to the uninitiated. They probably won’t bother.

How do you make it work?

It can be hard to compress your entire website into a carefully constructed 25 word sentence or two, but there’s no need to resort to pigeon English, just because the number of words is limited! Think of the following:

  • Have I explained broadly what we do?
  • Who will be reading or looking at this?
  • Do they know how my product or service can help them?
  • Have I included the benefits of my product or service?
  • Have I included my Unique Selling Points or something that differentiates me?
  • Can I take out any unnecessary words whilst maintaining good sentence structure?
  •  Does it read well?

Every business should have a ready-to-go, short description that encapsulates what they do. Don’t do it in a last-minute rush. Have one saved as a ‘master’ so you can pull it out whenever you need it.

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