The truth is that 76% of journalist have to think about their content’s potential for sharing on social media.
When it comes to starting a new business, or re-inventing your current small business, PR is crucial and to be successful, you need to know what will work, and what won’t. PR can be a minefield so I’m here to help you get a head start with your online PR.
With most written content, there are do’s and dont’s, just like there is with online PR. Spending 25+ years in marketing and sales, I have finally understood what works, and what doesn’t. Here are 10 words you should NEVER use for online PR.
1. Hotly Anticipated
Whilst something that is “hotly anticipated” sounds very exciting, is this how your industry would describe your new product/service? Do you have thousands of people ready to pre-order, eagerly waiting for their email to say the product/service is available? If not, avoid using “hotly anticipated”.
Solution: Use upcoming, exclusive, soon to be announced, or launching soon.
2. Horizontal and Vertical
The true meaning behind the word “horizontal” in the business world means “available to the general public” and “vertical” means “designed for a specific audience”. Not many people know this meaning it may cause confusion when being read online.
Solution: Just write out the meaning of the word, rather than actually using the word.
The word “elite” can be seen as an extremely obnoxious term in the business world. The word “elite” works well in the world of sport, but in business, if you are calling yourself or your business “elite” you are making yourself less approachable
Solution: Use exclusive, luxury, elegant or valuable.
In the business world, I have a problem when I see online PR using the words “icon” or “iconic” in reference to the business. Unless you’re a worldwide recognised brand earning hundreds of million pounds a year, you cannot call yourself an “icon” or “iconic. Michael Jackson is an icon, and Microsoft is iconic.
Solution: Use popular, longstanding, well-liked, established or respected.
5. SoMoLo (Social, Mobile, Local)
I have to be honest, I have used this phrase once or twice, but unless your business is a smartphone-based app, it’s not appropriate to use. It should only be used as a term within marketing departments where it’s true meaning can be understood.
6. Starting a PR piece with “So…”
I do want to clarify that using the word “so” to start a sentence is very common for a blog post, and something I do on occasion. My problem with this is that the word “so” is very informal and when you are writing professional PR pieces, you do need to be a bit more formal.
Solution: start with an introduction e.g. Hi, or Hello.
This is a difficult word to use for online PR because it is suggesting that you are the first person to bring out this product/service and it will radically impact the social and political world. It could do one day, but until then, avoid using the word “revolutionary”.
Solution: Use unique or innovative.
I see the word “paradigm” used a lot to describe the current state of something e.g. the social media paradigm. This, however is a word that, just like horizontal or vertical, isn’t that well known. Avoid using this, and use sentences like “the world of social media”, “today’s social media world”, “the current state of social media”.
The word “ongoing” can sometimes be too vague. Ongoing means that it’s a project that has no end.
Solution: Use work in progress, launching soon or “it’s not quite ready yet”.
10. Providing Solutions
Providing a solution usually means to help someone, or solve a need within your target market. This however, is as vague as using the word “ongoing”. Get specific – talk about the “solution” you provide. If you’re an eCommerce platform, talk about your USP and the specific features your provide rather than leaving it to the imagination of your customers to figure it out.
I will admit, I have indeed used the above phrases before in my online PR but I have found them to be less effective than other words meaning exactly the same thing.
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