Please Explain Industry Jargon and Acronyms


I just read a press release from a company that was targeting marketing technology folks like myself. In that press release, they mentioned:

OTT, PaaS solution, IPTV, AirTies hybrid OTT, and OTT video service platform, OTT video services platform provider, over-the-top video delivery through an integrated media management system, hybrid demo of OTT, digital video broadcasting (dvb-t), AirTies Air 7320 hybrid set-top box, IP Multimedia Product Line, set-top boxes that support integrated OTT solutions for both SD and HD video.

I’m not making this up. That’s not all… here’s the last bullet point:

A new range of DVB-T/IP hybrid STBs, the Air 7320 and the 7334, the Air 7130, a Personal Video Recording (PVR) STB with internal Hard Drive and the new Air 7100, standard definition low cost STB.

After reading the Press Release, I have absolutely no idea what this company does. Not a clue. They are so heavily embedded in their industry and their technology that they assumed anyone reading the press release would understand what it is that they did, sold, whatever…

As you write your blog posts, Tweets, press releases and website copy, please explain industry jargon and spell out your acronyms. Maybe I would have discussed this ground-breaking technology had I understood what the heck it was. Instead, I wrote about wondering what the heck it actually was and why it was important.


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    I faced this very problem when I launched the Noobie web site. I didn’t want to assume everyone knew what common acronyms like RSS meant. Yet on the other hand, I didn’t want to have to write out Really Simply Syndication every single time I mentioned RSS. My solution was to create a glossary on my own site defining each technical term I use in my articles and blog posts. This way whenever I use an acronym (or even a techie word some people might not understand) I just link it to the glossary definition on my own site.

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    This is why PR flaks ? good PR flaks, anyway ? need to understand the basic tenets of journalism. It’s not enough to regurgitate the marketing department’s talking points in a press release. They have to write like a newspaper reporter, put all the important information at the top, and spell out acronyms and initialisms (e.g. FBI, CIA) at the beginning of a piece.

    BTW, a “flak” is a semi-derogatory term for a PR practitioner. It’s sort of like calling a computer expert a geek or a nerd. Can be a put-down in the wrong hands.

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