PR Pet Peeves for a Friday Afternoon… Industry self-flagellation & (more) jargon

posted by Brendan Hodgson

Is it just me, or are public relations practitioners – in particular, the bloggers – an uber-sensitive lot? Echo chamber effect aside, are there other industries out there – besides politics – that feel the need to publicly goose one-another more than we do? If so, I’d love to know. Granted, I’ve itched to question the (often half-baked) decisions of my competitors (and have stated as much), but let’s not transform what might be useful discussions - or even those less-than-useful - into glorified episodes of America’s Next Top Model. Yeah, conflict makes for good reading (nay, rubbernecking), but do you really want to be remembered by potential clients or employees for simply being good at slagging others? Who knows when you might be knocking on their door for a job?

That said, I cannot claim absolute innocence. Once upon a time (meaning pre-21st century), I jumped all over a member of the marketing community for pronouncing himself a “concepteur” (granted, it had been a bad day all round, and that just capped it off) which led to some pretty ribald exchanges in the letters section of Canada’s Marketing magazine.  Today, however, my latest peeves are jargon-y stink bombs like “ideation” which remind me of a recent Economist obituary for Jim Michaels, a former editor of Forbes, who once tore a strip off a journalist for using the term “upscale”:

“His edits, seen by everyone on the open filing system, were surreptitiously collected in the “Abuse File”. Some entries became famous outside the magazine, such as his wild reaction to “upscale”: “IF I SEE THIS WORD AGAIN ILL UPTHROW”. Copies are still circulating.” 



Ryan Anderson

That’s the great thing about the advertising industry.  We just spend every second of the day patting ourselves on the back.



Brendan Hodgson

Forget about public amateur slagging matches via blog posts… this should be the new model for reputation

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