Journos can be an uber disruptive lot when asked to deliver and unpack their feedback. Going forward.
This morning, Press Gazette reported on a survey conducted by Houston PR naming journalists' top ten most hated PR jargon phrases. The list included "growthacking", "synergy" and the phrase "circle back".
But Press Gazette's stakeholders (readers) weren't happy with the top ten.
How have your newspaper consumption habits changed during the pandemic/lockdown, and do you think this will last?
- I read more news digitally than in print now, and expect this to continue (48%, 179 Votes)
- No change (29%, 107 Votes)
- I read more news in print than digitally now, and expect this to continue (14%, 52 Votes)
- I read more news digitally than in print now, but do not expect this to continue (6%, 24 Votes)
- I read more news in print than digitally now, but do not expect this to continue (3%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 372
Asked for additions to the list, journalists were incredulous that "touch base" failed to make the cut – and some revealed they cannot abide by any level of friendliness.
Independent sketch writer Tom Peck said: "The two I can never read past are 'Hi' and 'hello' (and sometimes 'dear')."
Darren Slade, of the Daily Echo in Bournemouth, said: "'Hope you have [or had] a fab weekend', directed at journos who will be working all weekend."
Sophie Flowers, of the Gloucester Echo and Citizen newspapers, said: "'I'd like to connect you with….. ' um, no thank you."
Times political sketch writer and diarist Patrick Kidd said: "I hate 'Hope your well'. I always want to reply 'Hope my well what? Never runs dry?'"
But it's not just grammar that's the issue. Mike Lowe, editor of Cotswold Life, suggested the phrase "hope you're well" should be on the list.
This was challenged by Richard Fidler, former journalist and currently an account director at HR Media, who set up a poll (below) to find out whether journalists enjoyed being asked if they were well. After 29 votes, 66 per cent said that they did.
Journo friends. When emailed do you object to salutations 'hope you're well?' or 'Good weekend?' cc @pressgazette
— Richard Fidler (@richardfidler) February 8, 2016
But Fidler unwittingly fell into another trap: shortening journalists to "journos".
Tim Walker, Mail on Sunday editor-at-large, said: "Can we add the ugly word 'journo' to that list?"
He added: "Even 'hack' is preferable. PRs and silly Bournemouth University media studies-types have no idea how annoying it is."
Elsewhere, Police Oracle editor Martin Buhagiar replied: "Last week I was informed of an 'idea shower' followed by a company 'next level drill-down'. Press release deleted."
Here is a list of more words PRs have been advised to avoid:
Deliver ("the idiot klaxon")
Feedback ("as an intransitive verb : 'I'll feedback with you on that'")
Cascade ("This information will be cascaded to all employees")
Disruptive ("When describing a business, not a school pupil who won't keep quiet")
Uber ("it's like the uber of jam / desks / retail shelving")
- In partnership with ("does my nut – should just be 'with' surely!").