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Portals – WSJ.com

Lee Gomes on the use of the word Breakthrough in press releases. There are plenty of other common phrases. Like “leading” – if everyone is leading then who isn’t? A simple and imperfect Google search on ‘press release leading’ resulted in 92,700,999 results…

All companies, but especially those in technology, like few things better than to talk about their “breakthroughs,” those great leaps forward that make products out of the formerly impossible. A search by Factiva Consulting Services found that more than 8,600 press releases have been issued over the years with “breakthrough” in the headline, a majority of them by computer and electronics companies.

Our laziness in crafting news releases isn’t just tiresome, to Lee’s point, it perverts the very language we depend on for our trade.

Source: Portals – WSJ.com

One Response

  1. By Ed O’Meara on September 28th, 2006 at 6:55 am

    Great item Andy… here was my comment to Lee:

    It might be interesting to do a similar word check/count on News Headlines. I find news organizations can be as bad (if not worse) than vendors at sensationalizing “new things”. We also see way too many simply repeating the headline from the press release.

    Fwiw, of all the press releases that IBM issued this year, to note that only 8 included the term is actually impressive to me. IBM, at least, have an internal standard on what deserves a release and how it gets characterized – a rarity in this business.

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