9 adjectives that PR pros have beaten to death

Sometimes it’s not your fault that ‘leading’ is in the headline of your press release. The client demanded it. Still, these words make reporters’ eyes glaze over.

Company descriptions are very tricky—especially if you’re the PR pro trying to convince the CEO that he isn’t describing his business the best way.

Sure, that’s why he is paying you, but most people who conceive of an idea feel very strongly about how they want to describe it.

Once you’ve slapped a label on your fair share of companies, you quickly understand why reporters get annoyed by company backgrounders and boilerplates. Many are full of fluff that makes the founder of a company happy, but if we were really doing our job, we’d slash the following words in any company description and start again.

Sadly, these overused descriptors now hardly bear any weight when telling a company’s story.

Here are nine descriptors we’d love to cut:

1. First
2. Only
3. Largest
4. Leading
5. Real
6. Best
7. Patented
8. Game-changing
9. Innovative

Sure, if one of these truly nails the description of a product or service, then by all means include it. My rule of thumb would be to leave them out and find a better way to describe your company or client and set it apart from competitors.

Any descriptors you’ve seen too much of lately?

Jennifer Nichols is co-founder and CEO of newly launched FlackList, where media can easily search, source, connect and maintain relationships with PR reps and experts within a social network setting.

Topics: PR


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