In the 2005 movie Fun with Dick and Jane, Dick Harper (Jim Carrey), public relations manager, conducts a corporate tour. He tells his guests “Globodyne’s a consolidator of media properties and data retrieval with a focus in fiber-optic content provision. It’s basically a synergy of Web-based and platform-based UNIX-driven delivery systems.”
When they stare at him dumbfounded, he quickly admits, “OK, I made that last part up.”
Screenwriters Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller were right on the money with their spin on corporate speak – industry jargon and hackneyed words that show up in news release after news release, but shouldn’t.
If you’re just churning out boring, jargon-filled releases day after day because that’s how it’s always been done, what value are you bringing to your company? You might as well delegate release writing to the interns. If, however, you’d like to breathe new life into your headlines and copy, start by avoiding the words that journalists loathe and start using words that grab their attention and guarantee your release will be read – and shared.
10 words to avoid
Here are 10 words/phrases to avoid in headlines and news releases:
10 Shareable Words
The key to getting a news release read is making sure the news benefits your target audience. If it doesn’t, it won’t be read. By highlighting key benefits in the headline and using key words, you will grab their attention and significantly increase readership.
The three most effective words to use in writing a news release and headline are free, new and best. The meanings are well understood by all. For blogs, some of the best words for headlines are surprising, smart, science, and critical.
Since the object of social media is to get people to read AND share your message, strong headlines using the right words can improve sharing. However, social media such as Facebook and Twitter are a bit different. They tend to be read more on mobile devices than blogs (an estimated two-thirds of all social media activity takes place on mobile devices). Those readers want manageable pieces of information that won’t take much of their time to read. Some successful social media words include: how to, facts and great. The number ten is popular as in Top 10 lists, a big favorite.
Don’t churn out boring, jargon-filled releases. Breathe new life into your headlines and copy with the right words – you will grab readers’ attention and make them want to share it.
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