The 7 Words You Should Never Say in a News Release

The 7 Words You Should Never Say in a News Release

  • Editor’s Note: As the editor of Kane County Connects, I spend a lot of time reading news releases. Most of them are well written, and some are flat out excellent. But too many have flaws that are repeated (as in this sentence) over and over and over … The purpose of this essay is pure and simple public service. We all can write a better news release, and I hope these tips can help.

I’m no “Mr. Language Person,” so I have zero authority to lay down rules. But if I could wave a magic wand and make words vanish from the dictionary, I have a few in mind.

Business concept male finger pointing delete key on a metallic keyboard

Seven, to be exact.

George Carlin’s famous bit was “The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” (Track No. 3 on the album Class Clown, circa 1972.) With a tip of the hat to Carlin and for the benefit of news-release writers and readers in Kane County, we humbly present …

7 Words You Should Never Use in a News Release

(1) Utilize

Cut this word from the lexicon, and the world is a better place. I can’t think of a single reason to utilize it.

(2) Facilitate

Applied in any sentence, this word facilitates the certain knowledge that the writer is a blowhard.

(3) Implementation

A word that would require a sip in the Harold Washington Drinking Game. (Remember to chug on “juxtaposition.”)

(4) Currently

As in, “We are currently in the process of implementing our utilization plan.” Fire this lazy word and let the verb tense do its job.

(5) Approximately

Use “about.” Avoid “approximately 10 to 15 …”  (Provide the range or add the qualifier, but don’t do both.)

(6) Chicagoland

Tribune-speak and marketing jargon for “Chicago area.”

(7) Thru

I blame the “drive-thru” signs at fast-food restaurants for proliferating this sawed-off testimony to illiteracy. Feel free to type “thru” if you’re texting a friend, but it’s sending the wrong signal if it gets thru your defenses and into your news release.