As a marketing or PR professional, we interact with other professionals all the time; conference calls, meetings, happy hours, events, etc. As any clique would, we have our own vocabulary, our own dialect of English. Within that vocabulary are words that are excessively used. They’re used to the point that we begin to become slightly annoyed, even when we hear ourselves use these words. I catch myself saying these words all of the time. Hopefully writing this post can help me to control my redundant, obnoxious vocabulary.
Here are a few over-used words we tend to hear too often in our office:
High-level: This very well may be the most over-used word of all, so much that I begin to cringe every time I hear it (especially coming from my own mouth). There are appropriate times to use the word, but we seem to forget that. It now can fit in every sentence. Example: Can you give me a high-level summary of that blog post? Let’s talk it over at a high-level lunch. Turn that into a high-level tweet. (I could literally go on and on with the ridiculousness.)
Cadence: This is one of those words that no normal human being uses on a regular basis, but for some reason we hear it in marketing and PR all the time. I couldn’t even give you a definition of the meaning of cadence without looking it up. Example: Let’s smooth out the cadence of this drip feed campaign.
Conference Call: Speaking of excessive conference calls, it’s a word we hear too many times a day. The nature of our industry is a collaborative one, but for some reason we like to propose a conference call about everything. Example: Let’s get everyone on a conference call to prepare for the client conference call!
Drip feed: This is a common practice in our world, but lately it seems like everyone wants to create a drip feed campaign about anything and everything. Yes, they can be beneficial when you have some great content and want to nurture (this word made the short list) your sales leads. But for everything? No thank you. Example: Let’s take last years content and reuse it in another drip feed campaign.
Hard stop: We get it; you’re busy just like the rest of us. We all tend to have meeting after meeting and conference call after conference call or a mix of the two. For some reason, we like to remind everyone that we have a hard stop at the end of just about every meeting, like no one else has something to do. Example: We need to wrap this up. I have a hard stop in 5 minutes.
Thought leader: Who wouldn’t want to be a thought-leader? It means people value your opinion enough to make a difference in their decisions. In marketing, especially B2B, having our client become a valued thought leader is our ultimate goal. But, does every little thing need thought leadership? What ever happened to giving advice for the sake of wanting to help someone, does it always need to be about being positioned as a thought leader? Example: Let’s create a thought leadership campaign around this high-level blog post.
Which words do you use extensively in the workplace which make you want to cringe?