5 words and phrases to remove from your PR palette


As public relations professionals in training, it’s no secret that we like to talk, a lot.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

After all, you don’t find too many wallflowers in the world of PR.

With that said, it’s important to replace stale phrases and overused jargon when communicating with colleagues, clients, professors and people in your industry network.

Although a bit dated, the following are not banned words:

1)    Obviously
Not even a Hallmark card could make this word sound appealing. No matter the speaker’s tone of voice, it comes off rather condescending. You never want to make people feel unintelligent.

Our purpose is to build bridges, not burn them.

2)    To be honest with you
Are you typically dishonest with people? The PR world revolves around being transparent. This phrase sounds like you’re revealing a vital secret to one person and telling another person something else. If you’re being sincere, your words or actions shouldn’t need a preamble.

3)    YOLO
It seems like new acronyms surface on a daily basis. Not only are they difficult to keep track of, they have an informal, immature nature. Although we want to build relationships, we need to do so in a professional manner.

Unless you’re Drake, keep YOLO, SMH and LOL to group texts with your buddies.

4)    Cutting edge
Was there a knife involved? Didn’t think so.

5)    Probably
This word plants the undesired seed of uncertainty in someone’s head.

Because once the seed is planted it gives itself plenty of water and sunlight to grow into a big tree of doubt.

If you don’t know the answer to something, be honest. Don’t make something up or guess what’s probably going to happen. Tossing this word around can cause you to lose credibility.

When it comes to the ever-evolving world of PR and communication, it’s critical to be clear, concise and transparent. Be aware of expired buzzwords and recognize when it’s time to put new buzzwords on your PR vocabulary palette.

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