25 Most Overused Words and Phrases in Press Releases


One word can best describe “new,” “unique,” “innovative” and the other 22 words and phrases on the list below: predictable.

These words and phrases pop up so much that they tend to lose their value and meaning. By using “cutting-edge” or “groundbreaking” in press releases or other copy when a product is neither, you are doing a disservice to yourself and to the product or service you are promoting.

Holly Arthur, assistant VP, media and public relations at the Association of American Railroads, recommends sticking to the facts and skipping the hype. “The key is to remember that a press release is only as good as the facts presented and news value they represent,” she says.

Avoiding stale, overused words and phrases in press releases and other copy will remain a perpetual challenge for PR pros. Staci Perkins, director of marketing and communications at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (and also a speaker at PR News' Aug. 9 Big 3 Conference), says that lately she has been focusing more on her writing style. “Even with our subject matter—foster care adoption, child welfare, policy updates and so on—there’s a way to write without sounding stale, and a way to tell a compelling story from the heart, without those overused press release words and phrases,” Perkins says.

Here are the 25 words and phrases the PR News staff and our community have deemed to be overused to the point of being almost meaningless. Keep in mind, the point is not to avoid these words entirely, but to use them with discretion or find case-specific substitutes. As Arthur says, these words have become overused because “they are so effective in quickly setting the tone or context for the information being conveyed in a release.”

  1. Announced 

  2. Authentic

  3. Award-winning 

  4. Best of breed

  5. Cross platform

  6. Cutting edge

  7. Exciting

  8. Exclusive 

  9. Groundbreaking

  10. Impact

  11. Improved

  12. Innovative

  13. Launched

  14. Leader/leading

  15. Leverage

  16. Next generation

  17. New

  18. Proactive

  19. Proud to announce

  20. Revolutionary

  21. Solution

  22. State of the art 

  23. Unprecedented

  24. Up and coming

  25. Unique

Follow Danielle Aveta: @DanielleAveta





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