It’s no secret I hate jargon! Our corporate public relations professional website has images all over it that make fun of public relations jargon. Since we’ve come up with those images, many more words and phrases have been uttered in the professional communications and business world.
In a new poll of more than 500 marketing professionals, “synergy” tops the list of their most despised buzzwords, beating out “viral” (one of my most despised) and “best-in-class.” A recent Wall Street Journal article cites CEOs and the words they want to see go. Love it! Here are a few more that I’ve heard and vowed not to use.
- Solution-Everyone has one no matter what industry, product or service their organization provides. Find a better word.
- Content Management- This is a term made up by marketers. It’s something us PR professionals have been managing for years—sharing a client’s message (ok jargon word there) in various places, articles, interviews, websites, blogs, social media etc. I researched the term to find out where it originated. I discovered it’s actually an IT term. It makes more sense in that profession.
- Hashtag – I hear this term used in every day sentences. Someone says, “I HASHTAG FunThingsToDoWithKids.” What? It’s a Twitter term. Let’s keep it where it belongs.
- Offline – During meetings I hear people say, “Let’s talk about this offline.” Then I hear my brain say to me, “Ummm… we’re in a meeting, not on the internet. Wonder where offline is exactly.” How about just saying, let’s talk about this later outside the meeting?
- Viral – I know what it means in the business sense, but ICK! Viral means getting sick. I thought we just wanted to communicate online and share the information without getting people sick.
- Reach Out – I always see someone literally reaching out for me with their hands instead of just contacting me when this term is used. Just imagine this the next email you get that starts, “I’m reaching out to you today…” with hands coming for you from the computer screen.
My resolution in the New Year is to communicate simply. I’m curious, what words and phrases do you want to see go in the New Year?