Are you being innovative at moving the needle in real time?

by Shawn Paul Wood

That clamoring sound you hear is the cacophony of corporate jargon in that headline filling your head with a "BUZZ" that would make a Vuvuzela blush.

Buzzwords are a necessary evil, specifically in public relations. Sure, we try to say our clients are "cool" and "all that and a bag of chips" but verbiage like "innovator" and "leader" continue to creep in pitches and news releases.

We have come to call them "charming."

Evidently so has most of the industry, according to Adam Sherk, resident blogger, flack and buzzword "expert" in his own right:

To come up with the list of buzzwords I started with the usual suspects then got some more ideas from Wikipedia and TechCrunch. This led me to David Meerman Scott, who I realized did something similar back in 2007 and then again in 2009 using a smaller set of terms but a larger range of press release services.

Anyone care to guess before I list these gems of the PR lexicon? The words are listed to the amount of times they were mentioned in releases researched by Sherk. Enjoy and when you slap your head, be gentle:

  1. Leader - 161,000
  2. Leading - 44,900
  3. Best - 43,000
  4. Unique - 30,400
  5. Solution - 22,600
  6. Largest - 21,900
  7. Innovative - 21,800
  8. Innovator - 21,400
  9. Award-Winning - 11,800
  10. Exclusive - 11,000

And please, honesty is the best policy. Just admit, step forward and repeat after me: "My name is (Your Name) and I am Buzzwordaholic."

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