Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Buzz?

In Public Relations we all aspire to convey that our client is the most ground-breaking, fresh, relevant, cost-effective, or unique in the industry.  Sound familiar?  This may be due to the fact that these words are some of the most common words found in news releases.

According to Dow Jones Factiva, in a survey of news releases on Business Wire and PR Newswire, the most commonly used buzz words in a news release are: next generation, flexible, world-class, scalable, market-leading and ground-breaking. These phrases have become so commonplace in news releases that some reporters glaze over these words and the release fades into the background.  For more on this topic, check out David Meerman Scott’s blog Change This.

So the question is: how do I make my news release stand out?  First, don’t let peer pressure get to you.  Just because some choose to bury their announcement in buzzwords doesn’t mean you have to do the same.  Try to build a relationship with reporters by talking on a personal, yet professional, level about your product.  You want the writing to be exciting, but you also want people be able to understand what you are trying to say.  David Meerman Scott suggests that a good test is to apply your writing to another product.  If you can interchange the two then the message needs more direct description and elaboration to effectively support your product alone.

Remember not to get caught up in employing useless jargon.  If the audience can’t relate to the message then it’s a lost cause! Words like “scalable” and “market leading” may sound impressive, but if they are not followed by a more detailed explanation, the audience will never know what those words mean.  So your product is market-leading, prove it by telling them how and why.  Focus on what differentiates your brand from others.

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