Below is a cogent, excellent piece on the importance of language in general and in particular within messaging campaigns. We highly recommend your perusal.
Language reflects the culture in which we live, and so criticisms of language use are often met with statements like “We’re just telling it like it is!” or “That’s the way the world works, get used to it.” But language also has the potential to change our culture. When we change the way we talk about things, we change the way we think about things. THEN we start to (slowly, surely) change the way we act about things.
We’re very pleased by the transit police’s near-immediate response to the criticisms of their recent messaging for the See Something, Say Something campaign. They’re:
A) Taking down the posters with the problematic wording
B) Asking our, and Hollaback!’s input on alternative messaging to replace the problematic posters
C) forming a committee to review messaging copy going forward.
A solid resolution to a clumsy, if well-intentioned mis-step.