Use abbreviations or rather write them out? Do you sometimes ask yourself the same question when you write a new blog article or think about your new flyer? What works best in your new image brochure, on your company website or on social media? Whether abbreviations in your advertising texts are advantageous or rather inappropriate: That's what my new article is about.
There are plenty of abbreviations. Therefore, it is important to start with an overview of everything important. And a few examples of how diverse abbreviations can be:
Classic abbreviations are shortened formulations that are only used in written language: be it the first letter, the first letter, the first and last letter or several characters ("ua", "Tel.", "Jg.", "Bhf. ', 'e.g.' or 'or.').
Even special characters are only effective in writing. This includes all characters beyond our alphabet: symbols such as "%", "€" or "§", compound letters ("æ", "œ" or "&") and letters with diacritics ("ē", "ø" or "ů").
Abbreviated words have prevailed in written and spoken language. This includes abbreviated forms such as "akku", "trainee", "uni", "cripo" or "kilo".
First of all, short words include acronyms. Acronyms are formed from the first letters and/or the first syllables of individual word components: "EDV", "WM", "Schiri", "KiTa" or "BAföG". Some acronyms are pronounced as connected words (“BAföG” or “TÜV”) – and others not (“ADAC”, “GmbH”, “ISBN”).
Autonomous words from our vocabulary resulting from initial letters or syllables are apronyms: for example “ELSTER” for “electronic tax return”.
We use some short forms all the time: "Kino" instead of "Kinematograph" or "ARD" instead of "Working Group of Public Broadcasting Corporations in the Federal Republic of Germany". Other abbreviations are a matter of taste: “e.g. B." and "or", "km" or "kWh". Should you use such abbreviations in your advertising texts? There is no clear "yes" or "no". But a few questions will help you make your decision:
You can easily use commonly understood abbreviations. However, think of your customers. “ASAP” or “JFYI” will probably work for colleagues, while “B2B” and “MBA” will work for business people. And "BTW", "IMO" or "OMG" for everyone who is well versed in the social media area. But you probably won't be able to reach Grandma Hilde from next door.
Adapt your texts and your abbreviations to the language of your target group(s): If you know your way around, you can use a different language than the average reader.
Authenticity is closely related to the tonality of your advertising texts. Since many abbreviations have been used orally, they give your texts a more lifelike and human tone: your website or flyers sound like you 're talking to your customers.
So feel free to spice up your texts with “trainee”, “deco”, “micro” or “vice”. If such abbreviations are part of your language, they sound authentic and all the more convincing - and not like smooth-ironed average advertising.
When you think of “KZ” you probably immediately think of the concentration camps of National Socialism. But "KZ" can also mean "code number", "license plate", "capital inflow" or "child allowance". In contrast, "BZ" stands for "education center", "letter center" and "fuel cell". And sometimes for "bathroom".
Avoid abbreviations that lead to misunderstandings. Even if the context makes it clear what you mean by "KZ" or "BZ": Write clearly and precisely, do not irritate your readers with ambiguous formulations.
"Many abbreviations are different. use possible Doc. can kz. & trans. be died.” Okay, I'm exaggerating. But you see what I'm getting at: trim your advertising texts with a sense of proportion.
Not everything that is possible according to Duden and the Internet leads to texts that are worth reading. But rather to give the impression that you are being rude and unprofessional. Your readers will believe, with good reason, that they are not even worth the few seconds to write out your sentences. And you can imagine how they will rate your company.
Perhaps you have to enter numbers very often: in connection with "percent", "square kilometer", "kilowatt hour" or "euro". In the case of frequently repeated (measurement) units, you can make your text clearer with numbers, symbols and abbreviations.
“Our goal: 80% of the power supply and 60% of the entire energy supply should come from renewable energies. And carbon dioxide emissions are to be reduced by 30%”: This can be read more quickly and understood better than “80 percent”, “60 percent” and “30 percent” – or as “eighty percent”, “sixty percent” and “thirty Percent".
Some sectors can hardly do without abbreviations. For service providers in the field of search engine optimization (SEO), for example, it's always about "Search Engine Advertisement" (SEA). Or “Conversion Rate” (CRV), “Search Engine Result Page” (SERP) or “Cost per Click” (CPC).
Instead of constantly repeating such and similar monstrous words, it is better to use abbreviations. But remember to explain things to your readers. On your website or in a brochure, you can add a glossary for future reference. Or you can explain your abbreviations: by first writing them out, adding the abbreviations in brackets and abbreviating them in the rest of the text.
In accordance with your corporate language, determine whether you want to abbreviate or write out – and implement this in all your company texts: from your website to customer magazines to mailings or cover letters. Because uniformity is the trump card: read my article on tips for texts from a single source to find out why.
If you want to abbreviate, then remember that in many cases there are several possibilities: "St.", "Stk." or "Stck", "Jh.", "Jhdt.". B.” or “e.g.”. Decide on one variant – and keep this abbreviation throughout.
Conversely, if you write out words that can be abbreviated, you can still use abbreviations in tables or graphics. This makes it clearer - and that is also part of your corporate language: Make sure to use abbreviations in all tables and graphics and to use identical abbreviations for different variants.
Personally, I would always write out text in continuous text. After all, every abbreviation is a stumbling block: "in about an hour", "tips about abbreviations, for example" or "10 percent profit" - that's easier to read than "in about an hour", "tips about abbreviations, e.g. B.” or “10% profit”. If you get your texts to the point, write concisely even without abbreviations: if you don't bore your readers with unnecessary information, superfluous repetitions, phrases or meaningless filler words.