Public relations / Random slings & arrows

Crain Communications leaves no jargon behind in hunt for exec to ‘engage with key stakeholders’

When a national publishing group recruits a communications director, it’s fair to expect a clear, well-written job description.

Crain Communications buries that theory under a jumble of jargon in an invitation for applicants to join “our collaborative team” — a phrase presumably meant to distinguish the workplace from those where colleagues don’t collaborate.

The position description, posted June 27, 2014 on the Detroit-based company’s website, seems like self-parody from the Leave No Buzzphrase Behind writing genre. Duties are described with phrases not ordinarily used in conversations — at least not by effective corporate communicators, one can hope:

  • “Global strategic thinking”
  • A personality to “engage with key stakeholders”
  • Talent for “developing new influencer relationships”
  • Knowledge of how to promote a brand “externally and internally in a way that can be leveraged across multiple channels.”
  • “Ability to measure and communicate positive ROI”
  • “Discovering new awards that map to agency campaigns.”
  • Skill at “developing and leveraging key relationships”
  • “Engage employees and provide them with a ‘line of sight’ between their role and the Company’s overall vision and goals”
  • “Candidates should be comfortable multitasking”

Prospects may wonder if Crain actually believes that last one will weed out candidates uncomfortable with multitasking. Is that even a species? And would it self-identify?

The nature of  the open position moves these corpspeak contortions from humorous to ironic.

Think about it. Crain says “we’re looking for a seasoned Corporate Communications Director” and lists this among the qualifications: “Strong writing skills.”

Here’s a suggestion:  If anyone on the corporate staff at 1155 Gratiot can recognize strong writing, let that person edit job postings.

(A preliminary version of this post appeared June 27, 2014 on my Facebook page.)  

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