Testing for Relevant Language

Testing for Relevant Language

Testing for Relevant Language

Over the last week, we’ve been working on an extensive survey project. There are two versions of the survey that are segmented for different audiences. One segment is teenagers. During the testing of the survey, we asked a group of teens to independently review the survey. Their feedback was nearly identical.

In several areas of the survey, language was used that matches the word choices the organization uses in their publications. These are common words and phrases within their field. The teens shared that these are not words or phrases that they use to describe these concepts and identities. To them, the words were outdated, unnecessary, and confusing.

Some specific language is used internally within every nonprofit organization, and it may not always match external expectations or usage. When drafting key outbound communication pieces, it may be a good time to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions. Are we using internal language too often? Is this the language that our audience uses? Do we need to define any of these terms for this audience?

Imposing your internal language on your external audience will hurt the effectiveness of an email campaign or survey. If you have time and volunteers available, ask them for feedback on the what language is relevant to them. This extra step can help you get the results you need.

Below are a few links from the last week that I found relevant:

  1. Susan Raab of NPQ discusses the ongoing crowdfunding platforms wars.
  2. Facebook’s carousel ads are 10 times better than its regular ads. Garett Sloane of Digiday has the details.
  3. How are you counting your media hits? Aaron Eske from M+R shares a new and better way to track this.
  4. Keith Steele provides an interesting read on how drones can assist in habitat monitoring.

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