Leverage and Maximize

Not to be a curmudge or anything, but check out this news release header:

Event Planners Will Learn to Leverage Public Relations to Maximize Integrated Marketing at HSMAI’s Event Technology Expo(TM) @ Affordable Meetings(R) National

Yikes! The particular release was issued by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) to tout an upcoming event featuring a PR Newswire expert discussing what, I don’t know. Here’s the lead:

MCLEAN, Va., July 30 — Successful marketing and public relations are essential to promoting attendance, sponsorships, exhibit sales, and overall industry awareness for meetings and events.

Double yikes! As a member in good standing of PR Newswire, i.e., I pay my bills on time, I happen to like the folks there, not to mention the service. I also belong to PRN rival Business Wire of which I’m also quite fond. But whomever sanctioned this news release – PR Newswire or HSMAI — should really re-think the tenets of press release writing. In other words, stick to distribution.

Hey, maybe the release was written solely for the purpose of gaming Google with keyword densities that include “leverage,” “maximize,” “integrated,” “marketing”…

I was with a client prospect the other day and he asked me what competencies his company should be seeking in an agency. In addition to relevant industry experience and some digital acumen, I mentioned that decent writing seems to be at a premium among agencies nowadays.

In thinking about it now, I probably should have come clean and said that any firm using the verbs leverage and maximize should be stricken from the list. Here are some helpful links that reflect on overused, meaningless PR words, and other PR no-no’s:

P.S. Have you been following the Scrabulous story? This item was posted in this space on Dec 26, 2007.