PR has changed but some things remain the same
14th January 2015
Over the past few years, many things have changed in PR – for example, social media has become a legitimate tool (aka you can get away with Tweeting at work and claim it on your timesheets) and a crap-load of journalists have become PROs (aka they worked as a business journalist).
Clients will always moan about you not hitting some deliverables while ignoring the fact that you've over-served on every other objective. But one fact, more than any other, will never ever change: people (some clients, some PROs) will always throw pointless words around to mask the silence that fills the space between their ears.
You all know what we're talking about: we 'leverage' them every day as we 'utilise' our 'assets' to deliver 'strategic' 'high-level' results 'across the board' in PRing 'ground-breaking' 'solutions' ... blah blah blah.
Case in point: We've just left yet another meeting with a client which was going well until our boss came in (late I might add) and proceeded to take credit for our work. Whatever, it's the boss's prerogative to take the praise.
What really irks us is that he explained it to the client in such long-winded fashion that, by the end, no one was really sure what we were talking about in the first place. Why do people do this? Words like the above don't sound intelligent. In fact, it's the total opposite.
In some industries, this kind of language works but, in PR it simply doesn't. The real results of corporate lingo in PR:
1) They ensure the person you're speaking to leaves feeling they've been conned.
2) They make everyone in the room (including your colleagues) want to kill you.
3) The lingo sounds like you're PRing the conversation – even the happiest client with the most successful account is inclined to think you're bullshitting about results.