Your Biggest PR Priority for 2010

28 12 2009

With the coming of a New Year, we typically set new priorities.

For many companies, our 2009 priorities leaned toward survival … such as keeping the business alive, shifting market focus, keeping employee morale up during dreaded downsizing and finding new business.

In 2010, many companies have already made the tough decisions, done the most difficult work and are now able to focus on rebuilding their businesses.

But the big question is: Where do we start?

Our corporate actions of 2009 may have weakened or changed our relationships with our most important constituents, our customers, our employees, our regulators or our shareholders.

Or perhaps our silence amidst the economic storms made the marketplace think we didn’t survive the storms.

With that in mind, what is your biggest PR priority for 2010? Perhaps it’s regaining the trust of a key public, abandoning the bunker mentality or coming out with new messaging … maybe it’s repositioning the company in the market place or implementing a social media strategy … maybe it’s staying the course.

Whatever it is, please share. And let us know how your 2010 top PR priority differs from your biggest PR priority of 2009.

After all, a new year with new priorities should give us all new energy, direction and achievement.

Business Phrases You’d Like to Kill

21 12 2009

In our unscientific survey of communicators and executives to find the business buzzwords that should be banned, many of you nominated phrases that drove you nuts.

So, as a follow-up to last week’s post on biz buzzwords to be banned, here are the phrases that  you’d like banished from business communications – along with some of your comments related to the offending phrases:

1. At the end of the day (Has displaced “the bottom line”)

2. It is what it is (Of course it is. Isn’t it?)

3. Teachable moment (Aren’t they all?)

4. Having said that / That being said (I’m going to keep talking)

5. It’s all about the brand / Live the brand (What happened to the customer?)

6. Let’s take (the discussion) offline (So I can beat you up in private!)

7. Let me wrap my head around that (Imagine the mess that would make!)

8. Out of the box / Outside the box (… and into the toilet)

9. Reach out (Can’t you just say “call” or “write”?)

10. User engagement (When’s the wedding? For the ring, he went to Jared!)

Thanks to all for contributing!

We also received a few contributions – real-world quotes – that go beyond mere irritation and I just don’t know how to categorize them. But still, they’re worth sharing:

A. “The glide path of mission critical work streams

B. “We need to market our green initiative, although we really don’t have one.”

Amazing! You can’t make this kind of stuff up.

What similar one-liners have you heard someone utter?

Results of Biz Buzzwords to be Banned Survey

15 12 2009

The results are in. A few weeks ago, in a rather unscientific survey of LinkedIn group members and Bianchi Biz Blog followers, we asked you for the business buzzwords that bug you to distraction. You responded with all kinds of words … and a few phrases, to boot.

Without further ado, here are the “winners” you selected for the Top Business Buzzwords of 2009 to Be Banned:

1. Right-size (Verb, to reduce staff and/or make budget cuts)

2. Onboard (Verb, to bring in a new hire or client)

3. Dashboard (Noun, for a quick report)

4. Blow-back (Noun, for strong reaction or resistance)

5. Engage (Verb, as in “engage in meaningful conversation” rather than “talk with”)

6. Circle back (Verb, to follow up)

7. Ping (Verb, to reach out electronically)

8. Cloud (Adjective, as in “cloud computing, cloud CRM, cloud data storage,” etc.)

9. Stimulus (Noun-turned-adjective, coupled with the words plan, package or program, ad nauseam)

10. Solution (Noun, used instead of product or service, as in “We sell transportation solutions … not cars.”)

Some of these winners (losers?) are perfectly fine words, but their overuse, misuse or “re-purposing” (another buzzword?) has put them on the hit list for many people.

Next time, we’ll post some of the phrases that drove you crazy in 2009. Thanks for your contributions … and feel free to keep sharing!

What’s Your Do-over for 2009?

8 12 2009

As the line in the old Frank Sinatra hit “My Way” ( said, “Regrets, I’ve had a few …”

This past year, in my personal life AND in my business life, there were a few things that I wish I could do over. Perhaps there are a few things you would like a “do-over” on, too. 

As we anticipate the New Year, it’s good to look at what we could have done better in 2009 … in hope that it will help guide us to further improvement in 2010.

If I had one “do-over” on the business side in 2009, it would be the same as my do-over for my personal life – to spend more time with the people who are most important to me … and to let them know how special they are. This includes employees, clients, journalists, peers, suppliers, friends and family.

Because ultimately, in spite of all of the attention on apps, social media and technology, success — in business and in life – still comes down to relationships.

There were a few things we did right this year, which helped to position us for a better 2010, such as:

  • Stepped up  our pro bono PR support for several local charities — enabling us to give back to the community, earn some new friends and keep a talented PR staff intact, productive and motivated;
  • Added some new project clients and continued to diversify our client base in the business-to-business realm;
  • Jumped into social media with both feet, allowing us to share our earned experience and insight with clients; and
  • Worked with our clients to find more effective methods and increase the ROI of their PR, in spite of reduced budgets.

But it’s what we learn from those things we’d like to do over that is most enlightening.

What did you do in your professional life this year that you would like to do over?

Go ahead, share with us via the Reply button. Admitting the mistake is the first step.

(Next week, we’ll post the winning entries in our unscientific “Business Buzzwords to Be Banned” survey.)

Business Buzzwords to be Banned

1 12 2009

Here are some of the early nominations for the Top 10 Business Buzzwords of 2009 to Be Banned … words that have been driven some folks to distraction. These nominations (and annotations) came from business executives, marketers and communicators across about a sampling of about a dozen different LinkedIn Groups.

1. Takeaway (Noun, for what we learned)

2. Right-sizing (Euphemism for layoffs and/or budget cuts)

3. Repositioning (Euphemism for the euphemism “right-sizing”)

4. Obamanomics (Try saying that one five times fast!)

5. Cloud (Adjective, as in “cloud computing, cloud CRM, cloud data storage,” etc.)

6. Ping (Verb, to “reach out” electronically)

7. Onboard  (Verb, to bring in a new hire or client)

8. Outboard (Like the verb outplace, but more in the pirate spirit of forcing someone to walk the plank)

9. Stimulus (Becomes an ugly word when you repeat it several million times)

10. Socialize (As in “socialize a proposal” to mean share or get another opinion)

11. Engage (As in “engage our audience in a meaningful conversation” instead of “talk with”)

12. Dashboard (Instead of report)

13. Reimagining (Remaking something different from the original)

14. Circle back (For follow up)

15. Blow-back (For strong reaction or resistance)

Even though we asked for words, several contributors offered phrases they love to hate (along with their reaction to said phrases), including:

1. At the end of the day (Has this replaced “the bottom line is …”?)

2. Going over the wall (Is this the sibling of “out of the box?”)

3. Reach out (Instead of call or write)

4. It is what it is (Of course it is! Isn’t it?)

5. It’s all about the brand (Except when it’s all about the customer)

6. Teachable moment (Aren’t they all?)

7. Social networking (Isn’t networking inherently social?)

8. User engagement (When’s the wedding?)

9. The glide path of mission critical work streams (Wait. What?)

Don’t see the business buzzwords that you would like to be banned? Send your nomination in as a comment to this post. Don’t wait. Nominations close Dec. 5.


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