The 8 Most Overused Words in PR and Marketing

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When you’re writing about your own product or service, it’s easy to fall into the habit of hype. It’s understandable. After all, ultimately you’re hoping your PR press release, pitch, brochure, email or website marketing copy will capture attention and get readers to do something. So, you have to impress with your words.

But these days, both press and consumers alike are more skeptical than ever when they know they’re being marketed to. Some adjectives are used so often that they no longer have any real meaning and do nothing but clutter up your copy.

Think twice before using these eight “fluff” words in your next PR pitch or marketing copy:

Groundbreaking (or its cousins, breakthrough and late-breaking): Very few products are groundbreaking in the sense that they figuratively broke new ground, or created a new market where none existed before. The Ford Model T, typewriter, iPod and sliced bread come to mind.

Revolutionary: Did your product or service start a revolution? Probably not.

Advanced: I see this word applied to almost everything. “Advanced ingredients.” “Advanced technology.” “Advanced processes.” It’s being used so much that it has lost its value.

Bleeding edge: This is a favorite in the technology industry. Apparently when “cutting edge” wasn’t enough, marketers started using “bleeding edge.”

Pioneering: Unless you’re leading the way in research or development of new ideas or products, it’s probably best to avoid this one. Also, see groundbreaking, above. 

Exclusive: Unless your product or service is only available to one person, it’s not exclusive.

Unique: We all think we’re special. But a better approach is to let your reader come to the conclusion that what you offer is unique, by describing its real features and benefits. Just saying that it’s unique, outright, does nothing to convince.

Best: Similar to the word unique, you’re better off letting your readers determine whether you’re truly the best. Instead of saying you have the best XYZ, get a quote from a customer (who has ostensibly compared you to your competitors) who says you’re the best.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve used these words plenty of times in my writing throughout the years, and sometimes they still sneak through. But as long as you’re aware, you can hopefully catch yourself before you publish a piece of content about your groundbreaking, revolutionary, bleeding edge, exclusive and totally unique product or service!

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