Avoid adjectives and adverbs in news release heads
News flash: Journalists, bloggers and readers are sick of robust, scalable, award-winning, enterprisewide solutions.
But that doesn’t stop PR pros from using them: Nearly 14% of release headlines contain at least one of the Top 20 PR buzzwords to avoid.
Or so say the folks at Schwartz MSL, in their latest News Release Optimization Report (PDF). For their report, Schwartz MSL researchers analyzed more than 11,000 releases issued over BusinessWire in a 31-day period.
Why avoid buzzwords?
Buzzwords focus on us and our stuff, not on the reader and the reader’s needs.
XYZ company announces its unique, award-winning, best-of-breed gizmo
Homeowners will soon be able to turn off the oven, lock the door — even feed the cat — from anywhere in the world, with XYZ Company’s new gizmo
Plus, nobody searches for “unique, award-winning, best-of-breed gizmo,” so hype words actually take a toll on your SEO efforts.
The solution? Focus on what your products and services will do for people, not on the products and services themselves.
And that means turning to our good friend Verb.
Focus on verbs, not adjectives.
A story is a verb, not a noun, said one of the former editors of The New York Times. That means the verb is the story. The stronger the verb, the stronger the story.
So avoid weak “PR” verbs. The top PR verbs, according to Schwartz MSL’s research:
- Announces — used most 15.2% of the time
- Launches — 2.5%
- Partners — 2.0%
WHAT? No introduces?
Not only are you not standing out from the crowd, but — again — these verbs focus on us and our stuff, not the reader and the reader’s needs.
Instead of growth, marketing and management, how about grow, market and manage?