The 7 banned words were: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based”.
Putting aside the controversial nature of this example; content marketers and communications teams regularly struggle with this type of project.
For example, when a product name change occurs, or your brand guidelines tell you to avoid certain terms. Or where you must avoid overly complex terminology that will confuse your reader.
How do you:
- Audit for this in both offline and online communications?
- Quantify the impact on existing websites or documents?
- Prevent the wrong language seeping back into published communications?
So, while Trump’s edict is controversial and newsworthy, it uncovers a serious content strategy issue that marketers and communications teams grapple with daily.
How do you keep content clean?
When dealing with non-approved or non-compliant language, there are 3 core questions to ask:
- How many occurrences of the offending terms exist?
- How much effort will it take to fix it?
- Which content should we prioritize for fixing?
In the CDC example, this would be nigh on impossible to do by hand. However, a new breed of language analysis tools makes it much easier to audit larger sites and collections of documents.
We used VisibleThread to search for the 7 words across the entire www.cdc.gov site.
Auditing the full CDC site for Trumps 7 words
We pointed the tool at www.cdc.gov. & kicked off an analysis
We then created a “search dictionary” containing the 7 words.
The results are in: 2,417 individual references to the 7 terms!
Our analysis found the number of:
- Pages on the CDC site: 5,578
- Pages containing the banned words: 1,082
- Individual references to the banned words: 2,417
Here is the breakdown by frequency of each term.