Influence people

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Crap Content Portends Crap Customer Care


A friend once told me he paid a call on a prospect while battling a sudden-onset flu. My friend was ushered into the executive's office and promptly threw up on the man's desk. Not surprisingly, he didn't close the sale.

When you publish crap content—ungrammatical, tortuous and jargon-heavy—you kill sales, just as surely as my friend did.

Crap content portends crap customer care.

Need proof? Then consider the following, courtesy of the crap-content creators behind United Airlines' blog, Hub:

Top 5 things to know about the United Polaris experience

We're very excited about our brand new international premium cabin service—United Polaris first and business class—which offers comfort and relaxation for restful sleep in the sky. To make sure you know what to expect with United Polaris travel, see below for a few key reminders. You can learn more at
united.com/Polaris.

1. Service


2. Lounge


3. Seat


4. Amenities


5. Cabin names


What makes this crap content?
  • Prolixity. Why does the blogger use superlatives to excess? He's not "excited," but "very excited." The service isn't "new," but "brand new." It doesn't provide "comfort," but "comfort and relaxation." The blogger doesn't offer "reminders," but "key reminders."

  • Jargon. The blogger packs the 180-word post with jargon like "long haul," "roll out" and "soft-launched."

  • Nonsense. Planes fly, but since when do "seats take flight?" What the hell are "sleep-focused amenities?" And who really cares that United has renamed its first-class cabins?
Crap-content creators like United's will say: Who cares? It's only marketing content: here today, gone tomorrow. Their indifference reflects the brand's values to a T.

They'd be well served to take the advice of critic Alexander Woolcott:

I count it a high honor to belong to a profession in which the good men write every paragraph, every sentence, every line, as lovingly as any Addison or Steele, and do so in full regard that by tomorrow it will have been burned, or used, if at all, to line a shelf.

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