Press Release 101 – Using the Right Words

The inherent point to every press release is to grab attention, and over the years public relations professionals have increased their vocabulary to include big, compelling phrases to hopefully persuade news sources to publish their stories. However, over the years as this has become common practice for the PR world, many readers and news outlets are adhering to the notion that less is more.

 

What are Buzzwords?

Technically speaking, buzzwords are a form of salesmanship, or politics, where a phrase or single word that ‘has begun to see use in the wider society outside of its originally narrow technical context.” These are words that, over time, have grown to mean something more and generate more feeling than other words. Buzzwords garner excitement, interest and sentiment, and are hopefully compelling enough to follow the ultimate call to action.
 

Overused Buzzwords

While these words and phrases have been handy and effective in the past for raising brand awareness and getting your press release, or blog, noticed, public relations firms are realizing more and more how distracting these words are becoming. Instead of buzzwords, they are quickly becoming killer words.

 

Here are some examples of buzzwords that you should no longer be using in your press releases from Inc.com:

 

  • “Revolutionary” – This was a big one, and used quite often when brands introduce new products or services. However, according to Inc.com, if you think your product or service really will be revolutionary, describe how: cheaper, faster, stronger, more versatile… explain what it does. Your customers will figure out if it will be revolutionary.
  • “Award Winning” – Like the above example, instead of saying that your brand or company is award winning, how about sharing which awards you’ve won. Determine which award is the most prestigious, and instead of saying “award winning product” say which award the product won. This is a great press release strategy, especially if the awards directly affect your target audience.
  • “Innovative” – While I must admit that this is still one of my favorite words to use in articles, blogs and press releases, it is overused and most often overlooked. Instead of using ‘innovative’ consider going back to simply ‘first.’
  • “Dynamic” – Why is your brand, product or service ‘dynamic?’ Instead of using this buzzword, explain why you’d use it.
  • “Leading” – We’re beginning to sound like a broken record, but if you consider your company or brand to be a leader in a specific industry, don’t say ‘leader’ but instead explain why. Has an award or recognition named you a ‘leader’ in your industry?
  • “Solutions” – We all love this one, and why wouldn’t you? Every brand wants to have the solutions for its audience. Your selling a solution to your audience’s problem, so why not use this great word? The answer is the same as above, don’t say ‘solutions’ but explain what the solutions are. Inc.com says “name the problem and explain how you’ll solve it.”

 

There are many buzzwords that are no longer getting the attention they once did. The key point to remember when creating a headline or sub-headline for your press release is to keep it short, but keep it informational. Using these words is the easy way out. Determine the theme, plot, or focus of your press release and be specific in your headline. If you need help, you can always contact us!

 

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