When is crap not C.R.A.P.?

We finally answer the age-old question: If something looks, feels, smells and tastes like C.R.A.P. … could it actually be good communication?

We finally answer the age-old question: If something looks, feels, smells and tastes like C.R.A.P. … could it actually be good communication? Here at C.R.A.P. (Corporate Rhetoric Awards Program) Central, we like to think of ourselves as scientists. Crapoligists, if you will. And even if you won’t. Our job is to discover, identify, tag and archive the many, many different species of corporate C.R.A.P. Over the years, we’ve come up with quite a few different specimens. Some of the most widespread include:

Executive Blowhardus: The CEO column that gives readers the “view from 30,000 feet” on scintillating topics such as Synergy!, World Class Service! and Innovation! Clichédius Photodorous: Which is the C.R.A.P.intific name for any one of a number of clichéd corporate photos— from the common Grip-and-Grin to the deadly “Execution at Dawn” family of photos, where we line up seventeen or eighteen team members and “shoot” their picture. (A side note: recent studies here at C.R.A.P. Central show that a full 67 percent of all males in “Execution at Dawn” photos choose to cover their crotches with their hands in the classic “Fig Leaf” maneuver. We have no idea what this means, but we know it means something. We’re looking into it.) Acronymrod Jargoniscrap: We actually discovered this specimen ourselves, which is why we named it after the C.R.A.P. Awards. This is when you jam so many acronyms, buzzwords and platitudes into the story that you don’t have time to write about anything interesting— such as people. This particular species of C.R.A.P. has been known to be deadly to readership. And one of the most common forms of corporate C.R.A.P., of course, is: Profilus Fluffeces: The employee profile, where we pick a random employee and ask him questions that would embarrass both Larry King and Barbara Walters. Questions such as, “What book is on your nightstand right now?” And, “If you could be a candy bar, what candy bar would you be?” However, part of being a good Crapoligist means being able to tell when something is not C.R.A.P. You have to be able to sniff out a false positive— something that looks, feels and maybe even reads like C.R.A.P. … but, instead, is actually good communication. These false C.R.A.P. sightings are extremely rare—but they do happen. In fact, it happened just the other day. We were making our way through an insurance company’s intranet site, alert, as we always are, for the stinky stuff. We came across an employee profile feature called: “Behind the Badge.” Aha! We immediately went into C.R.A.P. detection mode, because the phrase “Behind the

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