a must have for company announcements

  1. 840 Posts.

    Here is a great piece of free software that will remove the jargon, hype & babble out of company announcements - might even be useful to use on some of the posts on Hotcopper - LOL!

    Download it at :- http://www.dc.com/bullfighter/

    Business Software Detects Jargon, Scrubs Away Hype
    June 17, 2003 (5:28 p.m. EST)
    By Antone Gonsalves, TechWeb News

    If statements coming out of the high-tech company you follow seem like babble, then it might be a good time to start watching the organization more closely.
    Deloitte Consulting, in developing a free analytical software called Bullfighter, found companies that prefer jargon and buzzwords may need more than a refresher course in good writing. "There's a direct linkage between straight-talking companies and good business performance," Chelsea Hardaway, marketing director for Deloitte and creator of Bullfighter, said.

    For example, in examining Enron's communications during its last three years, Deloitte found that as the company's performance began to sink, its press releases, financial reports, letters to shareholders and speeches by top executives became more laden with ambiguous words and sentences. The energy trader eventually died in one of the largest corporate scandals in U.S. history, leaving many investors in financial ruin.

    Using Bullfighter in analyzing 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average companies, Deloitte found that communications issued by the computer hardware and software segments had the lowest readability scores and used the most jargon overall.

    The high-tech industry is certainly familiar with buzzwords and other useless terms. Hype within the industry in the late 1990s contributed to the market bubble that burst as companies with weak business models began to fail.

    Hardaway, however, pointed out that high-tech companies are not the only ones guilty of poor writing. "It's very widespread in the tech industry, certainly. But it's not limited to that industry," she said.

    The exception among computer companies was Apple Computer, which scored high in the analysis. Among all the companies analyzed, Home Depot scored highest for clarity in communications. Hardaway declined to identify or reveal the scores of companies that rated poorly, pointing out that Bullfighter is meant only as a guide, and its results do not necessarily show malfeasance or poor performance.

    "The motive could be trying to sound intelligent," Hardaway said, noting that a lot of executives learn their jargon in business schools.

    Bullfighter, which is available for free download through Deloitte's web site, started a couple of years ago when a consultant challenged Deloitte's marketing department to create a tool to detect writing based more on bull than facts. The project started as a lark, but later became more serious as the business issues became more significant.

    "We're hoping to have Bullfighter running on every PC, so people can analyze for themselves the information they get from the companies they invest in," Hardaway said. "We're hoping this helps to restore transparency and trust within the investor community."

    Bullfighter runs in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, within Microsoft Office 2000 or XP. The software works a lot like the spelling and grammar checker in those applications, but focuses on jargon and readability. In examining a document, the software provides an index for jargon use and readability, and an overall Bull Composite score of 1 to 10, with the latter standing for excellent writing.

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