“Only 10?” you say.
True. The difficult thing with something like this is knowing where to stop. There are so many insipid, vacuous, superfluous, abounding, profuse, supernumerary, surplus, extrinsic and indeed downright dispensable words that fall forth from the mouths of PRs. Or more likely, from their keyboards as they attempt to convince clients of their toil, their worthiness or their strategic nous in plans, presentations and, even more likely, that little stinker of the PR game: the brown-nose email.
These aren’t necessarily the overused words in press releases that we all hate to love. No, these are the words that PR people have taken to saying or typing in correspondence. Yes, voluntarily.
So here are my top 10 most useless words in PR. Useless because, frankly, we should have no use for them. They add, really, nothing:
Well, yes, I know what you’re trying to do, but consider mixing it up a bit. Use a dictionary (useful book, contains a reference under V for this word: vocabulary)
As in “I just thought I’d flag..”. Did you now. Just thought you’d better try and make yourself look good or compensate for having done none of the things asked of you, more like.
Not content with using this in press releases, some PRs now seem to want to use it in conversation and general information exchange too. ”Yes, we’re doing that in real-time”. No, you’re really not, you silly, silly people.
“We need a dynamic strategy for that”, I heard someone say. No. First you need to look up what both of those words mean. Then you need to stop making such limp excuses for not having done things.
Alternatively, just rip the lot off and tweak a few words. Oh, you did.
6. Proactive pitching.
As opposed to sitting on your arse, waiting for the desired editorial publicity to occur? Think please.
“Some amazing results here”. Really? As in we were all gripped by an all-consuming sense of amazement upon their arrival, like the Three Wise Men with the Baby Jesus, because it was all so utterly unexpected? Come on. There are other ways of conveying your assertion that the output is strong.
Don’t start me. What are you really leading? And who says so: you?
9. On our radar
Ah, so you and your team have morphed into collective pieces of an electromagnetic object-detection system now have you? That’s probably why you missed the thing that you claimed was “on our radar” and then had to scramble to track it down in order to avoid embarrassment.
10. In terms of
In terms of people with a reasonable vocabulary who don’t have to resort to throwaway clauses to begin (and suck the life out of) their sentences, you’re not on the list mate.