Slap me if you ever hear me uttering the phrase “thinking outside the box.”
I’m adding it to David Meerman Scott’s list of most offensive and overly used words and phrases in press releases. (I interviewed David several months ago on “The New Rules of Press Releases: How to Write Them to Attracty Buyers, Not only Journalists.”)
His list of gobbledygook includes:
- “next generation”
- “world class”
- “easy to use”
- “cutting edge”
- “mission critical”
- “market leading”
- “industry standard”
- “best of breed”
David suggests that before you write, identify your various target audiences.
“What are their problems? Business issues? Needs? Only then are you ready to communicate your expertise to the market. Here’s the rule: when you write, start with your buyers, not with your product.”
Many of the words and phrases above show up repeatedly in a company’s boring and pompous boilerplate. If you’re among the guilty, start editing.