Ouch. There was no malice intended, but the advice column hurt. It was intended for PR professionals, but journalists had to feel pain.
On Tuesday, a PR Daily writer put out a list of 27 phrases to be avoided at all costs. Calling them “expendable” and adding “nothing,” the advice was to delete immediately if somehow they appear on the page.
It’s hard to argue readers might appreciate an abandonment of the writer’s list of clichés and trite language. But for many journalists – the ones who haven’t authored a Great Book -- needing to write something like 500 words in 5 minutes can make hackneyed phrases a life line. Mostly, when a transition is needed – a way to string things together when there is no elegant way that is apparent.
Yes, it stings to realize just how important banal verbiage can be to a journalist’s duty. So, one has little choice but to embrace the negative and appreciate that what may appear lazy can actually be a necessity.
Like now. The buzz over Super Bowl ads and game coverage is still percolating, so phrases that probably could be done without are about to come fast:
To be sure, BlackBerry failed to differentiate itself from competitors in its spot and didn’t come anywhere close to Samsung’s brilliance over the past year in challenging the iPhone.
It stands to reason that Anheuser-Busch knew its spots for its new Black Crown beer weren’t going to win any popularity polls, but felt they were a good way to reach an upscale target.
It is interesting to note that Gatorade lost big when none of the Ravens players sought to douse their winning coach with a cooler full of the sports drink.
It goes without saying CBS would have loved to air commercials in the middle of the lengthy delay caused by the power outage, but NFL rules probably prevented it since there are limits on the number of spots that can appear in the game.
At the present time, there is no sign Subway has any intentions anytine soon of moving on from Jared Fogle as a spokesperson or GoDaddy going without Danica Patrick as one.
In the final analysis, CBS showed why placing microphones close to players can prove both dangerous (Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco was caught using an expletive) and very telling (Ray Lewis didn’t want to celebrate a victory too early and was heard telling a teammate: “Let that clock hit triple-zero first.”)
Due to the fact that it ran in only local markets, there doesn’t appear to be much talk about Time Warner Cable’s spot that played off AMC hit “The Walking Dead” with character “Daryl.”
Needless to say the debate whether spending big money on a Super Bowl spot is worth it will never go away, so the big money will continue.
The fact that CBS only showed a couple of shots of the parents of the Brothers Harbaugh during the game was very surprising; the network got a killer shot after the game when Dad kissed Mom after one son inevitably lost.
All things considered, Chrysler deserves thanks for endeavoring to produce epic Super Bowl spots and hopefully it will for years to come since it has succeeded for the most part four times.
So, do your best to avoid phrases like these and good luck. In a very real sense, it’s not easy.