Your RDA of Irony

The Late English Language

In case you missed the obituary….

             POSITION TITLE:

Director, Enterprise Communications 
REPORTING TO:
Assistant Vice President
Corporate Relations
CORPORATE PROFILE:
The Allstate Corporation
Northbrook, IL
The Enterprise Communications function (in the Corporate Relations Department) works to strengthen Allstater engagement and drive alignment with Allstate’s corporate priorities. It accomplishes its work through a talented team of communication professionals and a best-in-class enterprise communications system – with cutting edge and interactive vehicles and timely and strategic content.
The objective of the Enterprise Communications function is to:
  • Serve as a catalyst for culture change throughout the organization
  • Provide strategic counsel to executives re: Allstater engagement, consistent execution of customer experiences and internal reputation building
  • Ensure employees have a clear line of sight between their accountabilities and our corporate strategy and vision
  • Drive understanding and alignment of Allstate’s vision, strategies and tactics with employees and agency owners, and to embed these principles in actions
  • Improve Allstate’s reputation with internal stakeholders through strategic communications designed to enhance employee and agency owner engagement for Allstate’s vision, priorities and strategies
  • Oversee communication channels for effectiveness and efficiencies
  • Enable free-flow of information and dialogue throughout the company (up, down, sideways, outside in.)
AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY:In alignment with corporate goals, specific responsibilities for the Director, Enterprise Communications will include:
  • Enterprise Communications Strategy development, integration and execution including specific work streams to inform and engage Allstate employees and agency owners with Allstate’s vision and strategy

             Ongoing delivery of Allstate and industry news, strategies and information

  • Proactive management of emerging technology, social media and traditional communication vehicles
  • Cross-functional integration with business units, Marketing, Government Relations, Investor Relations, etc.
  • Developing and implementing best-practice internal stakeholder research to understand employee perceptions, alignment and expectations
  • Embedding Allstate’s vision across the enterprise to drive understanding, and enhance loyalty, employee alignment and engagement with enterprise values, purpose and business goals
  • Communications consultation with Allstate leadership on business actions and decisions
  • Ensuring successful implementation of Allstate’s Living Archives
  • Building and developing a best-in-class Enterprise Communications team

Let me summarize this:  the Enterprise Director will enterprise the enterprise.  You also may be required to feed the living archives. (Imagine the poor soul who has been ordered to memorize this job description.)

 The greatest threat to intelligible English is not immigrants or slackard youths: their pidgin mutations actually add a vigor that keeps a language alive.  No, the danger to English is from those who use language as a cryptic incantation, whose obscurity presumably measures its importance. 

We have come to expect this verbal opacity from government: bureaucrats would rather you didn’t know what they meant.  MBAs try to avoid the intelligible, for fear it might be incriminating.  Sociologists offer jargon when they have nothing to say.  Of course, the Human Resources, in its crusade to suppress any hint of joy and light in the world, torture language into an impenetrable code of verbational nounalizations.

Of course, if the Enterprise Director gets to wear a  Starfleet uniform, who wouldn’t want the job.

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historical significance of this day:  http://finermanworks.com/your_rda_of_irony/2008/05/20/mitre-makes-righter/

  1. Michele says:

    Amen, Eugene.

  2. Joyce Briggs the Elder says:

    You said it, and the easiest way to get started on such noncommunications is with a pile of buzzwords. I am so grateful that I never needed to write like the example above (except during my Economics finals). However, I occasionally had to write “best foot forward” prose to make a software bug appear to be a feature. A far lesser evil…

    Thanks again. I am retired in the Portland area, living a few miles from my daughter. It was a relief to leave AZ.

    Carry on,
    Joyce

  3. Eugene Finerman says:

    I hate the word “pro-active”, that grotesque redundancy of HR jibberish. One could reasonably assume that most activity has a constructive intention. Even if that were not the case, a company is not likely to admit that it is taking an con-active stance. “Hello, we at British Petroleum are delighted to announce our rape-and-pillage con-active policy.”

    And I am proud to say that I have never used “pro-active” in any of my corporate writing; I reserve it only for intentional satire.

    Eugene

  4. Leah says:

    Eek. With an honorary mention eek for metaphor abuse.

  5. Dennis says:

    Huh ?

  6. Peg Pruitt says:

    This rivals much of the bovine excrement produced by the education bureaucracy.

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