Is PR Speak necessary?

Poppy Mason-Watts, senior account executive, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group.

I recently spoke with some blogger friends and asked them what the most annoying thing about PRs is. Their first response made me laugh: PR speak.
For those of you who missed the recent twitter trend #PRsongs, it consisted of lots of PR professionals coining over-used PR phrases into well known songs - here are some of the best:
  • 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one
  • Wake Me Up Before You Embargo
  • Strategy, when the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on, it’s strategy
  • It’s the Final Sign-off
  • Wrote a release on Monday, sold it in on Tuesday, coverage appeared on Wednesday and on Thurs, Fri and Sat, we chilled on Sunday
  • Totally Addicted to Touching Base
There isn’t a PR - myself included - who doesn’t say ‘moving forwards’, ‘touching base’ and ‘boiler plates’ (the first time I heard the latter expression, I stared at my account director blankly and asked why it wasn’t just called ‘notes to editors’, he simply replied: it’s PR speak.)

The question I ask is how are these phrases ebbing their way into my everyday language? My friends find it funny when I call them to ‘touch base’, but I think it’s unacceptable…so folks, this month, I’m endeavouring to cut this strange language out, not just for bloggers’ and journalists’ sanity, but mainly my own. Surely we can think of some different ways to say 'touch base'…

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