Thursday, March 09, 2006

Case Study 1: FuelQuest

Here's another example of bad corporate writing:
"FuelQuest develops and delivers on-demand software and services to the Downstream Energy Industry. FuelQuest's web-based supply chain management suite and tax automation technologies deliver operational and financial value to petroleum suppliers, distributors, buyers, and commodity traders. The Company has standardized the Petroleum Industry in the areas of price management, strategic sourcing, logistics optimization, remote tank monitoring, environmental compliance, and fuel excise tax compliance."

This is the introductory text to their website. Nothing makes me want to run away screaming quite like the words "supply chain management suite" and "logistics optimization."

Here's my version:
FuelQuest provides software and service for the oil industry - including petroleum suppliers, distributors, buyers, and commodity traders.

Companies that can clearly express what they do are the ones that land contracts, get funding, and grow. No one is impressed that your product is "web-based", "on-demand", or "deliver(s) operational and financial value." Words like these drive away readers and clients.

Dejargonator Rule #1: Write it so your mom can understand it.