20 Business Buzzwords You Want to Kill

22 12 2010

The results are in. Based on our unscientific poll of members of about a dozen PR, marketing, communications and business LinkedIn groups, there are multitudes of words and phrases that grace the business lexicon that you would like to banish forever.

Some are perfectly good words and phrases that suffer from overuse, some have been hijacked by consultants and have lost all meaning, and some, it appears, we just abhor because an annoying boss or colleague uses them.

Anyway, from approximately 500 nominations made over the past several weeks, here are the top 20 business buzzwords  that your colleagues would like to see gone, followed by a nominator’s comment:

1. At the end of the day – “At the end of the day, it’s night. So what?”

2. Solutions / solution provider – “Everything is a solution, not a product or service. They’ve even turned solutions into a verb – solutioning? C’mon people, just stop!”

3. Low hanging fruit – “Can’t we just saying ‘quick wins’? And why don’t we ever talk about the ‘high hanging fruit?’”

4. Moving/going forward – “Shorthand for: whatever I say after this, don’t ever let it happen again!”

5. Leverage – “Bizspeak for ‘we’re really going to put the screws to someone now.’ And the someone may be you.”

6. Out of / outside the box – “Out of the box and into the garbage!”

7. Value add / value added / added value – “If you add up all the value adds, you’ll get 110 percent”

8. Thought leader / leadership – “Or is it that you just thought you were a leader?”

9. Synergy / synergize – “Derives from the words synthetic – imitation – and energy, so we’re talking about fake energy?”

10. Cutting / leading edge – “Unless you’re talking about saws or airplanes, forget the edge.”

11. Circle back – “Consultant speak for what a group does after they put things in buckets, did deep dives in the fishbowl, performed a wash up and got on the same bus.”

12. Reach out – “Can’t we just say contact or call?”

13. Talk / meet offline – “Means I want you to stop talking now and will rip you a new one later, when there are no witnesses around!”

14. Granular / granularity – “Unless we’re talking about sand or sugar, let’s just say examine closely. Next we’ll be looking at the atomic level.”

15. Bandwidth – “Hijacked from the IT world, let’s send bandwith back where it belongs, cyberspace!”

16. Utilize – “Like many verbs ending in -ize (especially those fabricated from adding -ize to a noun to try to make it a verb), could be said in a clearer, simpler way … in this case, use.”

17. Incentivize – see Utilize above.

18. Best of breed / best in class / world class – “Best of breed – yuck! Let’s leave the animal husbandry terms out of this!”

19. It is what it is – “Of course it is, otherwise it would be what it isn’t, which it clearly is not … is it?”

 20. Engagement / engage – “Unless we’re talking about an impending wedding, engagement causes my enragement!”

Thanks to all for their nominations and comments. We’ll cover some of the other nominees, some emerging buzzwords destined for 2011’s list and some of the more amusing comments in a future blog.

Finally, moving forward, at the end of the day, we wish you a best-in-breed holiday and a value-added New Year full of synergy and granularity!

12 Times You May Need a PR Firm

1 12 2010

Over the years, a number of business executives have asked me when their company might need a PR firm. And being a firm owner, of course, I’m always tempted to  answer: “Now!”

But seriously, there are a few trigger points for hiring a PR firm — when your PR dollars can ensure a significant return on investment and help your organization meet its goals.  

You might need a PR firm when your company or organization is:

  • Launching a new product, service, pricing scenario, promotional campaign or social media presence
  • Changing your name, logo/identity, direction/strategy, mission/vision 
  • Naming or promoting a new CEO or other high-level executive 
  • Facing the prospects of some potential negative media coverage due to strikes, litigation, plant closings, layoffs, accidents, product recalls, environmental spills, etc. 
  • Acquiring or merging with another company or organization 
  • Breaking ground for, or opening, a new facility … or entering a new market 
  • Exhibiting at a trade show or having a key executive speak at an important industry event 
  • Missing major media opportunities because your communications department was downsized or  eliminated during the downturn 
  • Reviewing or revamping your communications strategy, website, key messages, and/or social media approach
  • Finding that many of your target prospects don’t know much about your organization 
  • Noticing that your competition is getting more than its fair share of positive media coverage and online buzz
  • Experiencing wins that are worthy of being shared … such as new contracts, expansions, community donations, awards, environmental achievements, equipment investments, employment increases, etc.

 Here’s how a PR firm can help you:

  • Provide an objective viewpoint; act as a sounding board; offer strategic and/or tactical communications expertise
  • Apply experience/lessons-learned from other clients/industries
  • Leverage established credibility/knowledge/relationships with important reporters and bloggers
  • Provide additional experienced manpower and expertise when and where you need it
  • Tap into an established infrastructure for distribution of information and feedback
  • Train executives to maximize the benefits of media interviews or presentations
  • Stretch your marketing budget with stellar ROI (up to 275 percent).

So, if your situation fits any of those mentioned above, it may be time to start the hunt for a PR firm.  Check out our “Finding a Perfect Agency Match” tipsheet on our PR & Social Media Resources webpage (http://www.bianchipr.com/pr-social-media-resources.html ) for help.


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