Word use: The good, the bad, and the jargon

The words you use matter. If you’re repeating negative terms back to reporters or using words no one outside your industry understands, it’s time to revise your lexicon.

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Communication is only as good as the communicator.

In PR, we often see companies with a great message bog it down with jargon or poorly placed words. Word usage is vital and can be especially difficult to navigate when working with journalists.

Releases, newsletters, and emails can be reviewed and adjusted to correct badly used words and eliminate jargon before they’re sent out; live interviews are less forgiving. Positive, understandable word usage is crucial to getting your message across in interviews.

To help out, here is a quick breakdown on how to craft your words in a way that results in successful media engagement:

The good

Just like Clint Eastwood, these are the words you’re rooting for. These words are the heroes of your corporate message and brand. Words such as: “trusted,” “responsible,” “dedicated,” “professional,” and “creative.”

These are your champions. Use them when working with members of the media. Strike a balance, though. Some are buzzwords that, though positive, could have a negative connotation at the moment. Dust off that thesaurus and find similar words that portray what you want to convey.

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