We all live in a world of acronyms; OMG, BTW, LOL – they save time, they come in handy for Twitter and they’ve become so universal with the newest generation, AKA the millennials, that maybe this new generation entering the workforce has something to teach us slightly older Generation X’ers about communication.
I got my first mobile phone in 1999, when I was 18. I drafted most of my dissertation in my final year of university with pen and paper (before painstakingly typing it out on my housemate’s laptop, and getting the bus to campus to print it). Acronyms have a tendency to bedazzle me. Maybe I’m alone in admitting this, but quite recently I’ve found myself looking up coded language such as IMO and DAE on the Urban Dictionary.
In the world of public relations, language is key. Therefore it’s relevant to argue that there’s a risk of letting proper grammar fall to the wayside. However, with text messaging replacing the phone conversation as the preferred method of communication among millennials, this will clearly eventually have an impact on language in the workplace. Will anyone born before 1985 be able to understand what millennials are communicating? Or will the phrase ‘generational moment’ become common terminology in the workplace?
This presents a unique challenge but it also creates new opportunities for using a variety of communication approaches. Millennials are most accustomed to communicating via social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and Snapchat, which are of course the tools of the new generation of employees.
What’s more, the use of acronyms and communication abbreviations and symbols has the potential to save time and money for the employee and the company. In addition, it has the potential to attract tomorrow’s workforce to the company that best incorporates these communication tools.
So, FWIW (for what it’s worth), IMO (in my opinion) the next time you’re up against a deadline and you’re LET (leaving early today) but still have those AVE (advertising value equivalent) reports to complete and send to clients before the EOD (end of day), bear an acronym in mind.
Are there any acronyms the LLPR team should know about? If so, please Tweet us at@LizLeanPR