Salesforce puts customers on the execution block with jargon assault

Salesforce is a great program for small business. Each of its customer sites has an administrator, many of whom are non-coders. That’s why a recent “critical update” featuring “block execution” sounded scary — but incomprehensible — to many. The salesforce email: simultaneously opaque and terrifying A correspondent working in a small financial advice firm forwarded … Continued

With Hurricane Harvey approaching, the Weather Channel wastes copy on weather porn

Hurricane Harvey looks like a devastating storm. But with the media deploying superlatives so frequently, is there any capacity for alarm left for this actual emergency? I analyze the lead hurricane article from The Weather Channel for precision, clarity, and effectiveness. The lesson here: context is crucial when describing a potential disaster. Start with this: … Continued

As the Marketo screw-up shows, you can’t apologize in the passive voice

Marketing automation company Marketo had an oopsy last week — they forgot to renew their main domain name. This caused a day’s disruption for their customers. The CEO’s passive apology fails to be direct and honest. Why is this so hard? Let’s take a look at the CEO’s email to customers. In what follows, I’ve … Continued

Air France aims its new airline, Joon, at credulous millennials

Air France announced a new subsidiary targeting millennials, Joon. It apparently believes that millennials will select an airline based on branding and style, unlike everyone else who buys on price, convenience, and a reduced chance of being assaulted. The resulting announcement is as airy as a fresh-baked Parisian croissant. The Joon announcement is breathless My … Continued