As a Freshman PR major, I sometimes find it hard to keep up with all the do’s and don’ts of PR. There are so many different perspectives that it can be difficult to decide which ones to follow, but sometimes it’s good to pull pointers from different directions and synthesize. One resource I found helpful was an article by Paul Gillin that lists buzzwords to avoid in B2B (Business to Business) public relations.
Here is a list of the banned clichés:
• Superlatives (“best,” “finest,” “most,” “greatest,” etc.) –Without an actual title dubbing your organization as such, these words have no merit or purpose.
• “Solution” –Often overused, it is slightly arrogant because the use of it assumes that you have the answer to the customer’s problem, without knowledge of the issue, or actual proof.
• “Customer-focused”– This should always be the case in companies, the customer comes first.
• “Intuitive,” “User-friendly,” “Easy-to-use,” etc. – May not be easy to use for everyone. Empty word without any evidence backing it.
• “Leading”– This is up to personal opinion and whether the spectrum in which one is leading in is wide or narrow. “Best in Class” is more appropriate and carries more weight.
• “Performance” – Has many meanings to different people, but is meaningless without numbers to support it.
• “Standard”– Vague, in a world with many standards, it unclear which one the business belongs to. Must be 100% compliant with the standard or else it is useless to include.
• “Free”-When speaking to buyers, do not use. Nothing is free in the business world.
• “Innovative”– Again, research and support is a must. List awards and distinctions. Otherwise the word is tired and unnecessary.
• “First” –“First” is often synonymous with fail. Many companies that were the first to do something failed at it, until other companies came around and adopted it. Other words like “revolutionary” are more effective.
This list will help me to avoid overusing buzzwords in my writing. Are there any other words you think should be added to the list?
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Marianna Morris.