Friday, August 7, 2009

10 suggestions for 10 banned PR words

Thanks, Mary Lou, for prompting a constructive reply to Robin Wauters' critique of hackneyed PR phrases. Humbly, I submit…

Instead of LEADING / LEADER, how about a provable, specific, quantitative term or unique identifier (“New York Times best selling,” “#1 synthetic motor oil,” etc.)?

Regarding the use of BEST / MOST / FASTEST / LARGEST / BIGGEST / etc., take Robin’s hint. Be able to prove it (source it!), and don’t super-niche it.

Instead of INNOVATIVE / INNOVATION, a simple “new design” might work, and you will spend at least a paragraph to describe exactly how it is new (as in never been done before).

Instead of REVOLUTIONARY, you might want to dial it down a notch and go with “ground-breaking,” which suggests you’re building something new, right?

Most of my “AWARD-WINNING” releases are posted to the respective organization’s website, for the record. Industry-specific outlets usually pick up such announcements, which are less than news, but more than information.

Unless you actually cause an outage (usually not a good thing), the use of DISRUPTIVE / DISRUPTION should be avoided. Robin’s right. If your product/service really shakes things up, you’ll be too busy answering the phone and e-mails to take time for press releases.

OK, I will try to avoid using CUTTING / BLEEDING EDGE in any of my writing or seminars. I will try.

Instead of NEXT-GENERATION, Robin prefers “updated version.” That works for me. Also, be careful of the term “2.0.” It’s swiftly reaching “overuse” status.

Is there another kind of PARTNERSHIP that is not STRATEGIC? Save nine letters and drop the word. (Hmmm… I’m going to have to look at my slogan for Chavis Crew Communications, “strategic content for websites and media relations.”

Seriously, SYNERGY is one of the great business-speak terms of the Information Age. It sounds scientific, organic, like some previously mysterious force is at work forming a great new discovery. Mergers are usually just that. And you’ll need a paragraph to explain why the deal makes sense. If it takes more than a few sentences, it might be too complicated to succeed, and reporters have a nose for that sort of thing.

As always, the above rules can be broken if necessary. If you’ve the goods, tell the story, and tell it well. Contact Chavis Crew Communications for truly innovative, synergistic copy.

1 comment:

Lola said...

Good thoughts, Steve!