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Talk like an expert if you’re talking to experts

Those of us who’ve ever been given background information from a technical expert for publication have probably immediately set out to make it more accessible. But is this the right approach? Is it a mistake to rewrite copy aimed at a specialist audience into something aimed at the layperson?

Is it actually the technical experts not versed in the ways of marketing who are unwittingly taking the right approach?

Take acronyms, for example. My instinct is always to spell out the meaning on the first occasion one is used. But if every single member of the potential audience knows exactly what the acronym stands for, and probably uses it every week, does spelling it out actually make us look less authoritative?

I’ve been told countless times over the years by technical folks that they loved what I did with their notes, and how impressed they were with the result being “something even my Mum could understand.”

But do our prospects want something that their Mum could have written? Or would they be more comfortable with something that seems to have been written by one of their peers?