Buzz Words + Press Release = Wastebasket

A post by Richard Laermer at Bad Pitch further expounds a point that I made in an earlier post. When authoring a press release, a public relations professional should stay away from industry buzz words. Laermer writes, “The beef presented by the journalists is unquestionably legit . . . Who wants to read a hyphen-littered, uninformative piece of spin loaded with invented syntax, hyperbole, and marketing concept jargon?”

I must agree with Mr. Laermer and the journalists who receive such fustian press releases. Such releases indicate that the author’s lack of knowledge on the subject or the release’s hurried composition.

Laermer makes his point by saying, “PR people need to talk like real people, and we have to talk fast because journalists are usually busy.”

I will make my point buy emphasizing that journalists (and customers for you marketing people) are generally not impressed by using buzz words in your communication pieces. Those who usually are impressed by buzz words are the executives that hire public relations firms. But we are not trying to inform them now are we?

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1 Response to “Buzz Words + Press Release = Wastebasket”


  1. 1 Flackette February 24, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    I completely agree Michael. In my experience journalists have almost always unanimously requested that I refrain from using industry jargon when sending releases or other pitches.

    Something I learned in high school and college debate that I think is highly applicable to the PR field is that you should always consider the audience when forming your message; that usually means your communication needs to be as straightfoward and understandable as possible.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I enjoyed reading yours. I especially thought your post on the number of people reading blogs was very interesting…although I think that 36% of people reading blogs is still a significant amount, and I would love to see how that compares to print readership. It would be an enlightening comparison. Keep up the good work!


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Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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