Cut out the bad words

When I was a journalist there were certain words I hated in a press release and I’ve been thinking about this all week – following a recent comment about the fact that you cannot “polish a turd”.
Good writers should avoid the following words at all times – especially those operating in PR where any press release should deal in facts and facts alone and stay away from PR bullshit. So here’s the Greenie Guide to Bad Words. If you have any of these in your press releases delete them now:
No product or service is ever the First; Biggest; Best; Latest; Ground-breaking; Cutting-edge; Leading-edge; Unique… add more as you please
No CEO is ever “delighted”; “over-joyed”; “over the moon”; “pleased to announce”; “pleased to be associated with…” … add more as you please.
Other bad words, for me at least, also include “utilise” – what’s wrong with “use”?
This might sound a bit smug – but I think people who are uncomfortable about their writing try to pad it out with jargon, or self-inflating verbiage which is just a waste of time.
My advice is stick to the facts and tell it like it is.


Anonymous said...

Don't get me started on keynote speech.

JonnyC said...

"Blue sky" thinking; "critical paths"...put 'em all on the bonfire.

Richard said...

Hey jonnyc, my company is called Blue Sky, though nothing to do with the thinking thing. Or Man City. It's a nice happy colour, and it's lifts your spirit looking up at a blue sky. Is that twee enough?

Bill Blunt said...

I, too, like people who 'tell it like it is'. More power to your blog, Ian!

Wadds Tech PR Blog said...

Nice one Ian. Cracking post. We do our utmost to cut the crap from quotes, and indeed the main body of press releases.