A communication contrast

When companies try too hard to come up with quirky slogans or creative takes on their expertise the end result is often a dog’s breakfast, cliché-ridden text or incomprehensible New Age-y stuff.

Tony Jaques of the excellent Issue Management website and newsletter recently came across a classic example topped off with what seems to be either illiteracy or a new form of modish managerialist style.

A company called Corporality is promoting a ‘Corporality Summit’ at the Sydney Masonic Centre later this year which will offer to “meet, trust and colaborate (sic) to grow your business”.

It promises 900+ attendees, 50+speakers and panelist (sic), 50+ exhibitors to colaborate (sic) and network.

It urges you ‘to count every second utill’ (sic yet again) ‘The Event’. It seems unlikely that they will be offering writing and spelling advice although the company’s word processing programs don’t seem to be set to auto-check or else their users don’t follow the spelling prompts.

The dictionary meaning of corporality entails material or corporeal existence and the summit blurb at least promises some of it by bringing “in one platform B2B thought leaders, global experts, and decision makers from around the globe to contribute their expertise and vision to the development of business policies, and models that are essential in shaping the future of Australian businesses and trades. The events feature sought-after forums where delegates can engage in meaningful dialogue with experts and thought leaders.”

Buzzwords proliferate: transformation, disruption, meaningful dialogues, ‘leveraging the latest innovations to enable their empires to go to greater heights’, challenges, solutions. There are promises of meeting subject matter experts, ministers (sic yet again) and business leaders.

They do provide a video link which they call a ‘Throwback’ to a 2022 Global B2B conference so at least you can be comfortable that they have done it all before.

They also stress, in bold type, that “We’re also looking for sponsors to gain exposure amongst business leaders and heads. Contact us to learn more about the exciting opportunities we have for you.”

Top it all off the company slogans seems to be Creating evengelist (sic) since 2014!” whatever that means.

Now it should be said this spelling and grammar could be the responsibility of eventbrite – the event booking company through which you book the summit – but if it was, did the Corporality organisers not bother to proof-read the copy?

The evangelist word is spelt correctly on the Corporality website but the usage is still pretty odd talking of ‘a smarter way to create evangelist for you’ – a text that has grammatic problems of its own.

In contrast, the economist Nicholas Gruen’s engaging and informative newsletter has a terrific article about computer generated text posted by Eric Fournier @ejfourni who asked “ChatGPT to write a 300-word Strategic Plan for a major research university. It took 10 seconds.”

Anyone familiar with modern universities knows it takes days and days to come up with a strategic plan and then it is full of managerial jargon and largely incomprehensible. The valuable time of academic staff is wasted on lengthy planning sessions when they would be better employed in their labs or just sitting in their offices thinking.

The plans are then re-considered by various managers – inevitably better paid than the academics – as they ponder the next ill-thought out and counter-productive corporate restructuring.

Perhaps they should just turn to ChatGPT instead.

Eric Fournier said: “I asked ChatGPT to write a 300-word Strategic Plan for a major research university. It took 10 seconds.”