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Nov
03

Does Professionalism and Obscenity Mesh?

By

Would you hire a professional service company who repeatedly used offensive language?

I started checking out a company web-blog about a month ago that offers “professional” consulting services and who has really great tips on marketing, copywriting, and SEO techniques for small businesses. The thing is that I really started to get turned off by the frequent dropping of the ”F-Bomb” and other colorful words that would make some people blush. What really stunned me is when I discovered this is a stay at home mom.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the poster boy for a clean mouth (when I slipped up as a kid my grandmother washed out my mouth with soap -how about you?) but considering where I used to be and where I am today, it is a night and day difference. It doesn’t offend me if other people talk that way unless every other word has to do with four letters and then it doesn’t totally offend me as much as it bothers me. To me, it shows a lack of intelligence and disrespect for others. What I can’t understand is if most people know that this kind of talk is viewed as offensive, why in the world would you salt your business website with it?

Maybe I am old-school but I would never consider using this type of language on any material that hopes to win me business and wouldn’t even think about hiring someone who can’t control their language in front of my clients either.  Here’s an example.  My family and I went to a car dealership looking for a new car last year. We stopped at one of the reputable dealers in town but the salesman who came out to help us started cussing in front of my children! He totally showed disrespect to all of us.  Needless to say we walked off and they lost a potential sale or any future business (we have also told many people about this experience).

I believe it’s time for some businesses to use common sense; to return to old values that were once sacred.  Society needs a gut check and that there needs to be another look at whether professionalism and obscenity mesh together.  I don’t feel that they do.

Comments

  1. John says:

    I would i love it.

  2. Dan says:

    If you’re talking about who I think you’re talking about, in her case the language she uses has become part of her USP, and I think it works because it’s obviously a part of who she is – it’s not false, and it’s not a persona. There’s no exaggerated corporate speak or big boardroom words, just plain down to earth advice and (very) gritty experience.

  3. Karilee says:

    You asked if I’d hire a professional services company that repeatedly used offensive language. My response is definitely… but context matters.

    It sounds like the marketing site you’re talking about belongs to Naomi at Ittybiz.com. Her site is brilliant, entertaining, and helpful. It’s written with true heart, and is a far cry from the insensitive and disrespectful car salesman you also mentioned.

    I don’t particularly want a return to “old values”, if they restrict the honesty, authenticity, and clarity of the communication. One of the joys of blogging is that you can talk to your audience in your way, and Naomi can talk to hers. I read her site regularly and enjoy every word, even the off-color ones. She makes learning about marketing, SEO and related topics effective and memorable.

  4. Kevin Johnston says:

    Test

  5. I have to agree. I live in NYC so I do not get offended quickly, but I must admit, I “cringe” when I see the same colorful words on the screen, on Facebook, in a Tweet, etc. It’s a turnoff to me and makes me think that the person writing them does not really care what others think of them.

    The Internet is “like living in a big fish bowl!” Nothing is hidden and I think people have to realize that!

    Roz Fruchtman
    @SayItWithEcards

  6. Jenny says:

    nice… wordpress theme!

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