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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzwords’

10 of the Worst Press Headlines Ever: a Learning Opportunity

bad press headlineMentorship is underrated and under-utilized.

With PR executives jetsetting, working remotely, stuck in a marathon of meetings, or hibernating behind an office closed door, there is rarely a chance to hunker down for a learning opportunity.

On that note, one of the most visible flubs for any flack is the press release – specifically the headline.

It’s what you use to grab a reporter’s attention…at your own peril. While most headlines are perfectly functional, some earn a special place on the conference room bulletin board.

Bad headlines do happen…so let’s review a few and try to make sure they happen to someone else in the future.  Read more

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Oxford English Dictionary Publishers Think We Yanks Are Vaping Idiots

vaping badMuch like a bad rash that sticks around even after you bought that expensive cream, it’s baaaaaaaaaaack.

The extremely British Oxford Dictionary has released its “2014 Word of the Year.” The word, perhaps best embodied by this brilliant sign in Geneva, New York (about 250 miles northwest of midtown Manhattan), is Vape

Yes, that’s “vape” as in the still-as-addictive-as-smoking-but-doesn’t-stink-as-much vaporizing. Toking vapors through just about every orifice in your body is the word of the year. It’s trending. It’s being reported. It’s causing publishers of the snootiest dictionary in the world to laugh their tails off at the silly Americans.

Let me mansplain

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The Top 5 Things Overheard in PR Agencies Today

hunter PR stuff people say

No, they are “saying” a lot here too.

A couple of years ago, Hunter Public Relations of New York provided us with the YouTube homage “Stuff PR People Say.” Many of the points in the video will make you laugh, giggle, and really look at yourself in the mirror.

Yes, folks. We do say these things: “I made a few tweaks,” “Did you get my email,” “Need by COB,” and of course, “Let’s brainstorm around that.” However, there are other sentiments that may be more client-centric or agency-centric that didn’t make this video.

And that’s what got us thinking about this week’s #5Things: The Top 5 Things Overheard in PR Agencies Today. You know, “just a thought.”

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5 Scary Things Still Lurking in PR Agencies

PR Halloween

Something wicked this way comes…or, more accurately, it has never left.

The PR agency has evolved in many ways — integration of digital, trying to understand social, open work spaces, and anything else that makes them resemble an advertising agency.

Although the thousands of public relations firms across this great land of ours have been changing, there are still some surreptitious, blood-curling, creepy things rearing its ugly head in cube farms everywhere. Be they boutique-size or big-time, all agencies still offer horrific aspects of an industry that wants to kill us all in a gruesome B-list scary movie fashion.

So, here’s a special Halloween edition of #5Things: 5 Scary Things Still Lurking in PR Agencies.

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14 Words and Phrases PR Pros Need to Stop Using

word-or-phrase-people-should-not-use-in-2014We have discussed catchphrases and buzzwords that should be erased from memory immediately. They are the worst, and used so much that they have become the replacement of “um,” “uh,” and “you know what I’m sayin’?”

No! No, we don’t.

To add to that prestigious list are real words (except one seen below) that have been used in popular settings like new business pitches, client kickoff meetings, and media interviews. Yes, way.

Although we did this in June, which revolved around the word misappropriated term “homophobia,” here we go again. Please take note and spread the word. Save the industry. #PRCares.

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5 PR Catchphrases ‘Spinning’ Out of Control

PR-Dictionary

Much like niche cultures and mainstream industries, public relations has developed a glossary of its own. It’s not “‘In N’ Out” burger ordering off the menu’” cult-like verbiage, but flacks from all walks of life speak in the same universal code.

We understand each other when discussing work around a water cooler. We empathize with each other when commiserating about the cries of a client over an adult beverage. We share experiences as we exchange terminologies native to PR during a networking soiree.

And yet, there are a couple of phrases that we should really just stop repeating, at least in the way they’re used today. Here is this week’s 5 Things: The 5 PR catchphrases that are spinning out of control.

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‘At The End of The Day,’ Even The New York Times Does This

likeThe catchphrase for an epidemic that ruins most new business pitches and PR interviews is “vocal crutch.”

It is that drastic moment when a flack runs out of something interesting to say, and needs a second to think. Instead of a well-placed pause to show consideration for using a brain, the audience — be it a prospective client, a member of the media, or even a PR director considering your future career — gets pelted with a deluge of “ums,” “uhs,” and “likes.”

Much to the chagrin of anyone having to sit through a conversation with anyone who hurls buzzwords or vocal crutches at anyone in their path, it seems America has found your leader: The New York Times. 

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5 Reminders for Your Next Press Release

CNN gibberish yujyuj

Everyone has to do something to get your attention

FACT: Press releases are a necessity in this business. We know it. The media tolerates it. Clients love it. And that’s why we do it.

FICTION: Media outlets will print your press release as-is. Child, please. If that was the case, do you know how many reporters would be out of business because some fat-fingered flack misspelled a myriad of words and didn’t really care about spell check because lunch and stuff.

That’s why it is always nice to provide a public service announcement for a few niceties on you may want to either instruct others to write a press release to get read, or just do it right yourself this time. Regardless, they work and maybe your last release didn’t, so we love you.

Get your pencil and Moleskine. Here we go…

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The Over-Acronymization of PR (and 5 that need to go)

social-media-marketingMEMO to all those who mean the PR Newser team harm: Yes, “acronymization” is a word … now. 

Think about what you say on a daily basis at your job in PR, marketing, communications, social media, or some such. If you are like me, you abhor “Buzzword Bingo” and try to avoid it like a cold sore on a first date. However, you just can’t seem to escape the dreaded acronym that plagues this industry.

Think about it. They are everywhere, like a Kardashian only far less annoying. If they are online, you will offer clients abbreviations like “SEO,” “SEM,” “SMO,” and “SERP.” Go offline and you’re stuck there too with “B2B,” “B2C,” “CPG,” and “CTA.”

Meanwhile, I’m over thinking “WTF!”

Why do flacks, creatives and hybrids have to make everything an acronym? Do we sound more like a PR crackerjack when we barf initials out as if we are drunk on alphabet soup? Do you believe clients are so deftly impressed at your ability to summarize volumes of knowledge into three letters that have no business being together? Or, is it because you are just lazy as all get out?

Here is our list of top 5 industry acronyms that have to go…

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Top 10 NextGen Buzzwords that Already Suck

you-suck“Buzzword Bingo” is a game all flacks must learn to play during board meetings, conference calls and staff round-ups with that one brown noser in the group. Phrases we all know and detest like “Move the needle,” “Low-hanging fruit” and “110 percent” are enough to make us all swear off PR and move to something with a less challenging vernacular like politics or some such.

In the year of our sweet baby Jesus 2013, there are new buzzwords that are already starting to make the hair on my neck stand at attention and cause me wondering just how far I can push my allergy to certain foods without falling into a coma.

I’m sure you have others to add to this list, so let’s create a Twit Chat with the hashtag #nextgenbuzzwords and include @PRNewser or yours truly on the tweet. If you add yours to the list, we’ll make a follow-up post next week with your name all over it. Please? It’ll be fun and it’s Friday after all.

Here’s my Top 10 after the jump:

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