“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:
10. The Cloud. Yes, it’s cute how you can upload to the ether and this ubiquitous stratospherical contraption can let it live online. The Cloud, we get it. Now, stop it. To the integrated agencies out there: Teach your PR peeps about this abuse. The fact that “The Cloud” has now become a point of jocularity in comments should inform them this esoteric term is about as fun as the space it evaporates into.
9. Prankvertising. Visit a post here on Flack Me and you’ll understand why. (Cheap self-endorsement.)
8. The Next Big Thing. I think this shibboleth was rendered useless when it came out with that whole discovery of electricity fad. Look, technology supersedes itself every three years. At Apple, it’s every three months. Everything is the next big thing, so let’s hold hands, sing ‘Kumbaya’ and agree to never do that again. KThanks.
7. Phablets. For those who don’t speak Klingon, this is a hybrid of a smartphone and a tablet. See, technology is so rapid and convoluted, they have to make up crappy words just to keep with production. Can you imagine if Moses traipsed down Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments on these?! Oy!
6. Alphanista. I blame cover girl and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for this. She’s young, cute and loaded. Oh yeah, Kardashians, she earned it. So, someone hopped up on Rob Ford’s crack coined this term for a female who has it all. Thanks for that. We know where you live, dude.
5. Yottabytes. For those who missed this in metric technology class, here’s the breakdown: Byte, Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Peta, Exa, Zetta and Yotta. A yottabyte is a quadrillion gigabytes. Yeah, because the Xbox One just isn’t big enough. Byte envy, me thinks.
4. Social Learning. So, someone new to the tech world, say a flack, is observing something … anything but doesn’t really implement those new discoveries on the job. No discussion. No tutorial. No lunch-and-learn. Just browsing. Because that’ll stick.
3. ReST. Remember when this meant “sleeping at your desk with the door closed”? Yeah, now it means “Representational State Transfer.” As flacks, we have to stay up-to-date on technology trends and this is everywhere. Like Miley Cyrus, only better looking. In laymen’s terms, it is Web architecture that runs over HTTP. Yeah, that didn’t help me much either, even when I hear and read it 400 times a day.
2. Future Proof. This is right up with “Global Warming,” which is why it was changed to the equally abysmal “Climate Change.” Nothing is future proof, people. That’s why it’s called “the future.” Unless you are Nostradamus on Rob Ford’s crack (sorry, just realized I used that one already), there is no way you will know the future so how in the blue hell can you proof something against it?! Albert Penello, director of Xbox product planning, is the culprit. And as bad as it is, PR folks who don’t know better use it. I’m this close to getting a job at Mickey D’s. Swear.
1. Innovation. Three words: Kill. Me. Now. MEMO to PR pros everywhere: Just because something is new does not mean in inherits “innovation.” If it goes into “The Cloud,” it doesn’t make it full of “innovation.” And just because your client thinks Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs should be juggled to “Their New Product” slightly above “innovation,” doesn’t make it “innovative.” You know what would be “innovative”? Stop using the damn word “innovation.” The. End.