Our language is full of slang, shortcuts, colloquialisms, and other useless words that we’re all guilty of using every once in a while.
The truth of the matter is that so many of our clichés and catchphrases prove to be impractical, sometimes even downright pointless. The marketing and public relations industries in particular are full of useless words and ambiguous terminology that don’t always have a real purpose.
Diane Schwartz of PRNewsOnline has put together a list of words and phrases (with her own sarcastic commentary) that demonstrate how communication in the Marketing and PR world has gone bad. Here are a few of our favorites from her “Epic List of Useless Words, Sayings, and Retorts.”
- In a press release: “the leading solution provider…” (no reporter believes this about your company)
- “We need to own social media.” (Um, the public owns social media. What you really mean is you need to tie your social media efforts to a bottom line, be it financial, social good or reputation)
- Guru (unless you are a spiritual leader or are the best of the best at something, find another descriptor)
- “We want to be in high-profile media” (…said everyone on Earth that wants to be in any media)
- “How should we spin this?” (this is why PR’s reputation sometimes suffers)
- “We need to be strategic” (“Strategy” and “strategic” are so overused; no one explains what thye mean by this, what the plan of action is, or the tactics we’ll use to achieve the goal.)
- “Out-of-the-box thinking” (cringe!)
- From an agency exec to a client: “Of course, we can do all of that!” (sounds fishy, I don’t believe you; be specific on what you can do and what you might not be able to do)