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20 PR Jargon Words that Turn Your Pitch into a #PRFail

June 22, 2016
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If you’re on Twitter, you may be familiar with the #PRFail hashtag people use to share the worst public relations communications they find. If you’re not familiar with it, #PRFail is a hashtag that categorizes the worst public relations misfires that journalists and industry professionals come across. Take a look at the examples below:

PR Jargon 1

PR Jargon 2

As a public relations professional, I find these tweets somewhat offensive, pretty hilarious and extremely helpful. Even though our journalist counterparts are poking fun at us, when they share these tweets, we learn what not to say or do when pitching.

One practice to avoid when communicating with journalists is including overused jargon in your press release. Take a look at the list below for 20 PR-jargon words that we would be better off eliminating from our vocabulary.

20 PR Jargon Words Communications Pros Should Avoid

  1. Leverage
  2. Turnkey
  3. Utilize
  4. Revolutionary
  5. Synergy
  6. World-leading
  7. Game-changer
  8. Cutting-edge
  9. Leader
  10. Providing solutions
  11. Astonishing
  12. Seamless
  13. Groundbreaking
  14. Hotly anticipated
  15. Iconic
  16. Optimized
  17. Yield
  18. Streamline
  19. Disrupt [an industry]
  20. Leading provider

Cut PR Jargon & Get to the Point

When we first started using words like these in communications, they truly had meaning; however, today these words have been overused to the point that they’ve lost their initial meaning. Journalists receive pitches that describe “revolutionary broccoli” or a “hotly-anticipated pen.” These kinds of pitches have numbed journalists to the true meaning behind these fancy-sounding words, so when we do pitch a game-changing stand-up desk, the phrase ‘game-changing’ does little to convince journalists of the desk’s value.

Instead of using PR jargon like the list above, let the facts speak for themselves in your communications. If you truly have a product that streamlines processes, tell the journalist how your product does this. If your company is a world-leader in education, then provide facts that back up your claim.

By cutting jargon and sticking with compelling facts, your communications will convey the status of being astonishing or cutting-edge without the direct use of this jargon.

Do you have any words you would add to the list? Let us know by tweeting @RisdallPR. Check out the latest #PRFail tweets here.

Photo credit: Gavin Llewellyn

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