The Language Of Trust Takes A Singular Look At Doublespeak

In this day and age of corporate doublespeak and political manipulation, the importance what’s being said takes a back seat to how it’s being phrased. And through it all, consumers and voters simply don’t believe much of what they hear anymore. Michael Maslansky explores the world of corporate communication in The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics.
There are some interesting case studies and comparisons Maslansky uses to focus on building trust and keeping language simple and positive. In this world where it’s too easy for marketing directors and corporate PR types to string together impressive-sounding words that mean nothing, Maslansky’s advice is much needed. Maslansky does a lot of work with financial advisors and planners, so he’s very good at showing how ideas like risk, insurance, and complex financial products can seem more palatable when the language surrounding them is simpler. I can think of several former clients of mine who could’ve benefited from a little more simplicity in their communications pieces.
While much of “The Language of Trust” is focused on corporate communication, it helps to know a little more about where the author’s coming from. Maslansky is a partner at Maslansky, Luntz + Partners, where he works with noted language expert Frank “Death Tax” Luntz, who’s a master manipulator of phrases and creator of soundbites you often hear politicians regurgitate verbatim. Indeed, Maslansky gives away a little of his worldview on Page 38, where he refers to the “Democrat primary,” a subtle dig conservative talk-show hosts use because the “-rat” makes it sound just a bit harsher, as opposed to the correct “Democratic.”
Still, in the “Post-Trust Era” where all you need to do is turn on the news and watch the BP PR train wreck as evidence of what not to do or say, “The Language of Trust” is a good companion for any corporate communications person who needs to be reminded of the basics.
Special thanks to Mark Fortier at Fortier Public Relations who provided me with a review copy.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.