Earlier in the summer a client asked us to bid on their enrollment project. We did, and they went wild for one of our suggestions: the “multi-media series.” What is a multi-media series you ask? It’s a podcast.
If I had used the word podcast, the client would have gone running for the door. I never once used the term podcast. Not during project negotiations, nor during production.
This came up at this week’s Melcrum Summit in Chicago I’m attending. Tuesday I presented about intranet governance, social technology and SharePoint. Wednesday I facilitated a roundtable.
Someone in the roundtable said “if I even say ‘blog’ my executives freak out.” So, don’t say blog. Use different words. Words that existed in the English language prior to 1998.
Just because someone makes up a new word to describe a new technology, doesn’t mean we have to use it. If the technology meets a business need, say driving innovation or employee engagement, then talk about it in that way. “If we get more dialog, we’ll get more ideas and therefore more innovation.” “If we give people a way to connect with others and collaborate, our employees will be more engaged.”
So, leave the lingo behind. But explore and discuss the opportunities represented in new technologies for internal communication. The opportunities are powerful. That means we have to find powerful new ways to talk about them with those who have fear and mistrust.