24.4.09

Three More Clangers

There are three more PR bugbears which have come to my attention this week below. Two of which are pure bad training of an exec by his/her seniors and the other is an example of a PR firm not having the cojones to push back on its client and tell them that something won’t work.

Corporate in-talk: It’s bad form in my view for a PR firm to assume that a journalist knows what a firm does. So when the predictable and unfamiliar technology/pseudo-Greek-fusion nomenclature appears in the sentence without the faintest hint of a description of what the company does the journalist is instantly lost. So the rest of the ‘in-talk’ – the name of its products and the inevitable own trumpet blowing which may mean something to those within the firm and its PR agency but nothing to the other six billion people on planet Earth – is redundant because the journalist already has a finger on the delete button.

Companies are singular: To compound the paucity of the above pitch unfamiliar technology/pseudo-Greek-fusion named company was referred to in the plural – “[name] are, their product etc”. People, people – companies are SINGULAR. Always.

Paper talk: OK, so you’re a PR talking to one of the vast majority of trade publications whose readers aren’t investors looking to buy shares and are actually logging onto website X to learn how to improve business performance, for example. So, why on earth would you like to lead the pitch with “CEO [name] could talk about the company’s recent share performance and why this is good news for the industry…”

OK, your company’s doing well. Great. Why not talk about what it’s selling and why there’s demand for it rather than subjecting the world to a dead pitch?

Am I out of line or is this fair comment? Your thoughts, please...

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