Not thrilled about utilizing leverage

I’m thrilled to announce my groundbreaking initiative to leverage my newsletter audience to utilize our collective influence to pivot to a novel way of writing.

Hopefully that sounds jarring to you, because you’re not used to reading language like that here. Unfortunately, journalists and audiences ARE all too familiar with such jargon-laden corporate speak.

To join our movement, you promise to follow these rules:

Never compose a quote that includes the word thrilled. This PR habit is mocked by journalists, it’s like the “lit” of the PR world – it’s trying way too hard and everyone can see it.

Choose “use” instead of utilize, which has lost all distinctiveness due to overutilization.

Nothing in corporate comms is groundbreaking or revolutionary – unless you’re announcing cold fusion or the overthrow of a government, no one will believe you. Instead, rely on facts to prove how innovative your initiative is.

Don’t use leverage as a verb, especially when talking about humans. Twisting a metaphor that dehumanizes people into mere tools makes you sound like a . . . tool.

It’s fine to simply “change course” or “take a new approach.” Pivot was once a great word for describing a startup changing its business model, but applying too broadly has watered it down.

What do you say – are you in?

This article was originally published on June 5, 2024

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