When somebody asks “What do you do?” how do you respond?
If your answer includes words with multiple syllables or jargon, words that only people in your industry can understand, you’ve probably forced their brain into shut-down mode.
The Philadelphia Inquirer article “Too many firms use jargon to convey ideas” offers example after example of pompous, bloated, puffed up elevator pitches. Many of them appear in press release boilerplate, at company websites and in marketing materials.
The article reminds me, by the way, of how much I despise the buzzword “thought leader” which seems to be universally accepted, even by the reporter who wrote the Inquirer article. PR people use it repeatedly in executive bios and pitches to the media and bloggers. Wikipedia says the term was first coined in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the magazine, Strategy & Business.
“The term was used to designate interview subjects for that magazine who had contributed new thoughts to business.”
My article How to write a bio for your press kit explains that most bios I read are more potent than sleeping pills. It offers tips on how to spruce up yours.
I’m curious. Do you use the phrase “thought leader” in your PR materials? If so, why or why not?