8 PR buzzwords an ex-journalist can’t stand

Nomenclature sets certain business sectors apart, but some terms induce more wincing than others. Here’s a concise glossary of particularly heinous public relations jargon.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Every profession has its own language, and God knows during my 20 years in the news business, I learned an entire vocabulary that makes zero sense outside the newsroom.

As I embrace the world of public relations, I’m learning a whole new language. I’m trying to adopt many of the terms that come with the territory, some of which actually convey exactly what point we’re trying to get across.

That said, there are some terms that I just can’t manage to swallow, let alone bring myself to use. I cringe every time they come up.

Whenever one of these PR-specific words appears, I write it down in the back of my notebook to look up later. Here are some real gems:

Planful: My best guess is that this term is a mutation between “planning” and “thoughtful.” I’ve heard it used in the context of “we need to be planful about this.” I would suggest the alternative word “smart” or “strategic,” because they are both in the dictionary and everyone knows what they mean.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.