By: Shaquasia Fuller, Account Associate for The Ghana Cookbook
In the field of public relations we are taught to write with persuasion and precision for our audience. However, conveying messages for press releases, media advisories and pitches can create redundancy if certain words are overused. Here is a list of the most overused PR terms and suggestions for future PR practitioners on how to avoid them.
In 2013 the word new was used 110,059 times. We know new means to have not existed before or to have already existed but never seen. To avoid using this term repeatedly replace new with words such as recent, modern or up to date. This gives the audience the understanding that your product is something they have never experienced before while avoiding repetition or fluff words such as cutting-edge.
This word has often appeared in documents composed by PR practitioners to stress the importance and rank of the product being advertised. In 2013 the word first was used 56,724 times. There has to be another way to emphasize the position of your client without using this commonality. Replace the word first with words such as top, leading or major to show exclusivity to the product using an innovative approach.
Although this descriptive term is one of the least used in 2013 totaling to 1,763 hits, it is still very much used. We understand that as PR practitioners we want to make it known to the audience that this product and this client is the most ideal for them because it has great force and strength. But shouldn’t we use a more vivid term to state the obvious without being obvious? To avoid using the word strong in press releases frequently use words such as secure, durable, solid or long lasting to communicate to audiences the positive impacts of utilizing your client/product without the lack of interesting description the word strong brings.
A personal favorite of mine is the word innovative. At some point in time this term was every PR practitioners favorite. For a while it sounded fresh and edgy, now it has become a common way of saying “something is creative.” So how can we tell audiences that our client is “new, exciting and different” without being typical? Words such as advanced, leading or inventive stresses what makes the product special and unique but takes a different approach.
For a full list of more overused PR terms visit http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2014/24221/top-50-overused-words-in-press-releases-infographic