5 terms PR pros should stop using

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The vocabulary of a PR professional adjusts with emerging trends. However, some terms should be axed from the list, no matter how popular.

By Beki Winchel | Posted: September 8, 2014

PR professionals have no shortage of words.

In an industry of constant pitching, talking, and networking, words are the most valuable salvos in a communicator’s arsenal.

That doesn’t mean all words are golden. Here are five terms that should be removed from your lexicon immediately:

1. Game changer. Unless your client really did create the next big thing, leave this phrase out of press releases, pitches, phone calls, and communications. Actual game changers don’t talk about changing the playing field—they just do it.

2. Totes. It’s trendy to reduce common expressions to one-syllable sentiments. Though professionals should be concise in pitches and communications, don’t speak as if you’re auditioning for the remake of “Clueless: Into the Millennium.” Keep “adorbs” and “bae” off the list as well (although you might have bigger issues if you’re calling journalists any variation of “baby.”)

3. Epic. This term is used to hype anything of note coming from a client. Are you talking about the Great Pyramid of Giza? The Grand Canyon? Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables?” No? Then stick to highlighting new and useful features, and let your recipients decide whether your client’s offering deserves the designation.

4. YOLO. It’s also common to use acronyms for pithy phrases such as “you only live once,” “shaking my head,” or, “laughing my butt off.” Though it’s no crime to use these acronyms in casual conversation, using them in a pitch or professional conversation suggests you couldn’t be bothered to upgrade from text speak. Sure, Twitter restricts you to 140 characters, but the only acronym you should include is “DM”—as in, you’ll direct message that reporter more details. That way, you won’t sound as though you’re on spring break year-round.

5 . Nomnom. Food can be delicious, and brand managers representing clients in the food industry are understandably looking for ways to describe that deliciousness. However, “nomnom” isn’t one of them. If you feel the urge to use this in pitches, ask yourself: “Am I Cookie Monster?” (You’re not.) You have superior linguistic skills and should reserve this term for Instagram. Focus on words that highlight your client’s product. 

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