The Overuse of the words: “uncertain times”

By: Heather A. Marchand

I use gmail. If I click on my “promotions” tab, I can guarantee that 8 out of 10 promotional emails use the word “uncertain”. In fact, just for fun, I searched my email for “uncertain”. How many times do you think I found the word? 

TWO HUNDRED emails used the word “uncertain” since March 2020. TWO HUNDRED!

I get it… uncertain = I am freaking out and need to find a way to leverage this disaster to sell you something you didn’t know you needed.

I admittedly made this mistake two weeks ago. I used it in a NADRA email. In my defense, we gave away something quite substantial for free. So I think I earned a free pass here. But in all seriousness, I’m not using the phrase again & you should try to avoid it too. Consumers are over it. 

Here are a few words / phrases you could use instead: 

  • Unknown
  • Weird
  • Undetermined
  • Unsure
  • Crummy
  • My personal favorite: Dubious!
  • During these unprecedented times
  • This sucks

It’s simple. When you are making sales calls and answering inquiries regarding leads… just be real.

As an association we are struggling due to most payables being put on hold. We know you are going through it too. 

Don’t be cheesy. Don’t be sales-pitchy. In a world without human touch, or handshakes, no hugs, no embrace… The best thing you can do right now is to just be real. 

We know we need to find the positives here & as an industry we have quite a bit to leverage during this crisis. The industry knows there is an opportunity here to promote “staycations”. Please do yourself a favor, give it some time and don’t be too aggressive. Families are hurting right now, and the last thing you want to do is have them unsubscribe from your emails or unfollow your business on social media.

Business must go on & there are ways to self-promote in a classy way. Make some calls. Check in on your past clients & prospects that didn’t close. Just be sure to be human. Be sensitive to the fact that folks are unemployed, kids are home from school, parents are losing their minds & some may have loved ones who are ill. Take your time to construct well thought-out, sensitive content for your emails, phone calls and social media campaigns. Sharing content that demonstrates how your company is giving back and supporting your local community is a great way to self-promote. 

We will continue this discussion in the next brief by providing a couple instagram graphics and social media text for your use. 

Have a good week, and please remember, just keep it real. 

Wishing you plenty of sunshine, 
Heather

NADRA Rocks!

Heather A. Marchand
Director of National Programs & Marketing
Direct: 215.317.2018
www.NADRA.org 

One thought on “The Overuse of the words: “uncertain times””

  1. Good article, Heather. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Genuine thoughts and words make a difference. Good communicators are good at word choice. They read more and are exposed to good writing. But a lot of people just aren’t. That’s why we hear the same buzzwords and phrases.

    As writers we are more attentive to word choice and try to avoid overused jargon, newspeak, and acronyms. I too, notice the overuse of certain words and phrases and almost cringe when I hear “narrative,” “personalization,” “sucks all the oxygen out of the room.” Because intentions are good, word choice isn’t a bad reflection on the person. However, if we can slow down a minute and think more about the person or audience we are talking to, we can express our thoughts relevant to them and their business. Then communication is received as sincere versus rote. That helps build better relationships and separates you from your competitors.

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