Some Words You Shouldn’t Use in Press Releases


Randy Michaels, CEO of Tribune Co. recently identified 119 words that he banned WGN-AM reporters from using on-air.

A lot of those words were journalistic cliches.

George Carlin, who identified the “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on Television,” and also made fun of journalistic cliches (and here) would have approved, I think.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of PR cliches that that I would like to ban even as sometimes we have to use them, namely:

  • Defining a company as “a leader,” a “global leader,” or a “leading provider of”
  • Quotes that include the words “We’re pleased…” or “We’re excited…” Of course the organization is pleased or excited — if it weren’t, it wouldn’t be issuing the press release.
  • Describing a product, service or company as “innovative” and “revolutionary.”
  • “Mission-critical”
  • “Out-of-the-box”
  • Award-winning

Of course, those don’t include business cliches like “9 Business Speak Cliches to Abolish.”

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