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Beyond Buzzwords: Rising Above the Garble Online

By Shannon Woods, Associate Editor

[1]Buzzwords—those infamous words and phrases like “paradigm shift,” “long tail” and “game-changer” thought to grab people’s attention—seem to have lost what used to be their key role in marketing, and specifically press release writing. But while buzzwords are still alive in many industries, one should be wary of basing an entire marketing campaign around catchy, heard-that-before industry jargon. The Internet is oversaturated with every buzzword, colloquialism, and verbal circumlocution you’ve heard of (and many you haven’t!), so it is imperative when you write your press release to use them carefully and with purpose.

Here are some ways that buzzwords can be beneficial in press releases, but it is important to keep in mind how to use them to best help you achieve your goals.

To avoid overusing popular search terms and running the risk of making your press release sound like a reprint of countless other releases, be strategic and deliberate when you include buzzwords and balance them appropriately within the entirety of the text. However, don’t disregard the trending terminology altogether, as this will negatively impact your release’s potential search engine visibility.

Your content should be pioneering in its newsworthy potential, but not too original in its presentation. You want it to attract noteworthy buzz and generate hits through keyword searches. Popular marketing lingo alone may do little for SEO due to oversaturation, but using keywords that incorporate industry wordage can help your content get noticed. For example, instead of using the popular phrase “real-time” alone, try making a compound keyword for your release that makes the search term more specific, such as “real-time analytics.” The compound will help your release’s online pickup, while the creation of this more-detailed keyword will likely help pull up your release when your future audience searches for the term.

The primary focus of your press release is your organization’s announcement, not the currently fashionable buzzwords; let your company take center stage while you find ways to make search engines work for your news. Think about how your company sets itself apart in relation to the particular metadata – the keywords that define your brand – you’d like to include, and make that terminology more precise and detailed in relation to your company’s news.

Sheldon Levine, who works in marketing at Marketwire, puts it nicely: “… the goal of a press release is to reach your key audience and elicit some sort of response or action from them. If a buzzword will help you to do this, regardless of whether it’s a widespread word, then use it. Some buzzwords play better to certain audiences than others though, so just know who you’re trying to reach and what gets them to react when crafting your communication.”

Too many marketing idioms in your headline and first paragraph may cause journalists to think you are overhyping your news. Keep placement minimal in the beginning of the text for optimal pickup results.

Consider how buzzwords are used in the industry you are trying to target. Experimenting with their usage can help you find a good balance to keep your audience’s attention with intriguing content. To maintain a high level of SEO visibility, Marketwire’s SEO Analyzer tool [2] can be an invaluable source, as it gives insight into how well your press release will perform in search engines. If your release scores high, it’s likely that it’s risen above other similar content online.

Buzzy phraseology is still vital in maintaining some sort of familiarity with the news you’re discussing and in helping your content be searchable in the ever-expanding online world, but make sure it’s your news being heralded, and not the business world’s new favorite novelty expression.

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