… Words that are used by publicist, spokespersons and corporate communicators that should be forbidden. A while ago, I was trolling the internet (we all do that), when I came upon a glossary of terms I found fascinating. The reason is because it is a list of over used, trite and just plain annoying words that are included in too many media releases. Buzz words for lack of a better description.
And, I must confess, there are times when a client has said to me that one of these words was the perfect choice of words, and that it must be included in their release. And as I cringed, I included them in the ‘News-breaking’ release that I sent out to the media. Because that was what the client felt best described what they wanted to convey to the public about their product or service.
I am listing these words with the hope to once more to educate our clients, to not offend journalist, and to improve our profession. I have rated them based on least offensive to the worst. Enjoy!
Runner ups: All-in-One, Attention Mode, Bandwidth, Best Practice, Blogosphere, Client-driven, Cloud, Complete Approach, Core Competencies, Critical Mass, Customer-Centric, Dashboard, Digital Solution, Dynamic, Earth Shattering, Easy-to-Use, End Product, Enhancement, e-Tailing, Ever-Changing, Evolving, Excited (in a quote), Exclusive, Expert, Fierce, First-of-a-kind, Full-Service, Fully scalable, Global, Green, Groundbreaking, Honored (in a quote), Hottest Trend, Human Capital, Integrated, Intuitive, Long Tail, Market Leader, Mashup, Next Generation, Next Level, Off the Grid, Offline, Optimize, Out-of-the-box, Platform, Pleased (in a quote), Press Release, Presser, Proactive, Raise the Bar, Reality TV, Redefine, Result-Oriented, Rightsizing, Robust, SEO, Smarter Measurement, Spin Room, Streamlined, Sustainability, Symbiotic, Thrilled (in a quote), Tipping Point, Top-of-Mind, Trend, Utilize, Web 2.0, Win-Win, World-class
Oldies but goodies: Award-Winning, Disruptive, Evangelist, Industry-Leading, Mission Critical, Pioneer, Real-time, Scalable, Thought Leader
Thought Leader – “It was a good word; the concept of Thought Leadership as part of a PR strategy is very important. Yet, like most useful concepts in PR, the term devolved into a buzzword that gets thrown around like confetti.” Kevin A. Mercuri
Classics: Best-of-Breed, Bleeding Edge, Influencer, Rock Star, Seamless, Turnkey,
Best-of-Breed – “I didn’t realize we were promoting purebred animals.” Adam Novak
Stellar: Guru, Innovative (Innovator), Leading-Edge, Paradigm (Paradigm Shifting), Social Media (SM Expert), Unique
Guru – “Guru for sure needs to be buried, and anyone who self-proclaims to be a guru will see their reputation get buried too.” Julia Zunich
Give-me-a-Break: Buzz (Buzzwords), Revolutionary
Buzz – “Unless you’re in the honey bee industry, buzz can be subject and acts as a filler word.” Jolene Loeschter
Stinky: Leader (Leading), Solution, State-of-the-Art, Synergy (Synergize)
State-of-the-Art – “When you think about it, this doesn’t explain anything. I’d much rather be specific and state why the technology, process, etc. is heads above the rest.” Renee Rosiak
Top of the Heap: Cutting Edge, Game Changing