Journalists Name Six Overused Words
in Jacksonville Public Relations
Are The Words You’re Writing Ruining Releases?
Are you making Jacksonville journalists cringe when they read your press releases? Are your pitches unopened? No responses to your follow-up calls? In a recent poll of members of the Jacksonville media by Point Taken Communications, a Jacksonville public relations firm and marketing agency, here are the six top overused words in Jacksonville public relations efforts that could discourage journalists from reporting on your work:
- First Annual: Merriam Webster defines the word first as coming before all other in time, order and importance. The same dictionary defines annual as happening once a year. Therefore, if this is the first time you are hosting an event, it can’t happen once a year. You can certainly hope your event will be so popular that it happens annually, but you can’t guarantee it will be a yearly event until you have at least hosted it once.
- Groundbreaking: Just because something is groundbreaking for you or your organization, it might not be so new and unusual for journalists. Search the web and trade journals before using the word groundbreaking in a pitch or press release to ensure you are truly the first organization to announce a certain innovation or initiative.
- Unique: Just because you think your product is unlike anything else, it may not actually be that different. As an adjective, unique is a press release filler word and only takes up space and aggravates journalists.
- Exclusive: Is your upcoming event so ritzy that only the privileged are allowed to attend? While giving the media an exclusive tour of your new facility is a great public relations tactic, using the word exclusive appears restrictive. Journalists are looking for stories that affect a large number of people, so using language that sounds more open and inviting is more likely to gain coverage.
- Collaborate: Everyone seems to be working together on projects lately. While collaboration is a great way to achieve more, overuse of the word is an even better way to miss media opportunities. Try a different set of words like come together or team up.
- Turnkey: Is your product really complete and ready to be used? Do you know what turnkey actually means? If your line of goods isn’t ready to be used out of the box or you don’t know what turnkey means, do not use this word in a press release.
As a general rule, only use adjectives in quotes in press releases. Journalistic writing (and public relations writing) should always be unbiased and modifiers just clutter your release with your thoughts and opinions. Keep the adjectives to quotes where you can attribute to someone of importance.
Next time you send a press release as a part of your Jacksonville public relations efforts with the title “Introducing a Unique and Groundbreaking New Turnkey Product at First Annual Collaboration Convention,” stop and rethink your target audience. Then, rewrite before distributing your release.
Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.