4 clarity killers that PR pros should avoid

Communication is essential to landing your messages, but many writers gum up the works with common clogs. Here’s what to look for and how to eliminate them.

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Here are four prominent “killers of clarity” that professionals should look out for, along with hints about their identity and advice on correcting them:

1. Euphemism. A euphemism is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that might be offensive or suggest something unpleasant. However, euphemisms also make your writing less accurate and honest, such when you say, “He passed away,” instead of, “He died,” or, “She was downsized,” in place of, “She was fired.”

Euphemisms can fuzz the facts. A statement such as, “The amount of goodwill carried on the balance sheet, when compared to total assets, is high” is vague, compared with, “We have too much goodwill on our balance sheet compared to ready cash and assured receivables.” Say it plainly, and you’ll be viewed more credibly.

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