On Wednesday morning, Conde Nast President Bob Sauerberg told the audience
at a paidContent conference: “If content is going to remain king, we have got to innovate
In the last 24 hours, the words “innovation,” “innovator,” and “innovative” appeared in 40 press releases pushed out across the major distribution services, according to a search on PRFilter.com
Last February, a similar search through PRFilter.com found the words used 452 times in a 24-hour period.
No wonder The Wall Street Journal’s Leslie Kwoh singled out “innovation”
as a word that’s “in danger of becoming a cliché—if it isn’t one already.”
searched annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and found some form of “innovation” mentioned 33,528 times last year. That represents a 64 percent increases from five years ago, according to the report.
Meanwhile, more than 250 books with “innovation” in the title have been published in the last three months.
The most popular buzzwords in press releases
Public relations professionals know full well the extent of buzzword abuse. After all, they serve as the voice of a company or client, paid to churn out press releases with such jargon—whether or not they like it.
While “innovation” is among the more popular words used in press releases, it’s not the most commonly employed buzzword, according to a handful of studies.
Last year, Business Wire sifted through 16,000 press releases
over a 31-day period to compile the most common buzzwords in headlines. “Solution” took the top spot.
In February 2011, PRFilter.com performed a similar analysis
of the press releases it compiles—a search inspired by the work of PR consultant Adam Sherk
—and found that “leading” was the most commonly used buzzword. “Solution” was No. 2.
Various forms of “innovate” appeared on both lists, though they didn’t take the top spots.
Meanwhile, a CareerBuilder study published in December 2011, which asked more than 5,000 business professionals to name the most popular jargon (or least, depending on your view), said that “Outside the box” was No. 1. Neither “solution” nor any forms of “innovate” made this list
In July 2011, PR Daily asked writers to share the buzzwords and terms
that drive them nuts. Among the entrants: “unique,” “eclectic,” and “at the end of the day.”
The authors of the Business Wire study had some good news for press release writers: The use of buzzwords is on the decline. Although for that to happen, writers had better be aware of some new jargon terms looming on the horizon.
[READ: CEOs say the darnedest things: One way to eliminate jargon]
The website Newswordy
is good for identifying them as they pop up. It highlights popular words used every week in news articles, quotes, and tweets.
According to WSJ
, the new buzzword is “inventive.”
Any new ones you’ve heard recently? Let us know in the comments. Or share some of the classics that still drive you nuts.