#WordsBracket Tournament Winner: ‘Thought Leader’ Voted Most Overused PR Phrase

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Update (April 5): "Thought leader" has defeated "leverage" to win PR News' Most Overused PR Words & Phrases Tournament. 

Take a look at the final bracket below.

Have you leveraged any assets lately? When was the last time you circled back on a deliverable? Chances are it wasn't at the end of the day, since you might have been out of pocket, too thrilled about an innovative product announcement.

PR pros know they need to be vigilant about avoiding hackneyed, empty words and phrases like the ones that litter the preceding paragraph. Even if they know better and pluck them out of copy, senior leaders and clients will sometimes ask them to get that "innovative" back in there. Whether they appear in a press release, presentation, social media post or just a regular meeting, vague words and cliches cloud meaning and do nothing to improve the standing of public relations.

In the spirit of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, PR News hosted its own version of March Madness with its Most Overused PR Words & Phrases Tournament.

Take a look at the completed bracket below, and download a printable .PDF of the bracket here.

PR News' Worst PR Words-Phrases Tournament bracket Finals

Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene

  • gloria

    May I add “let’s unpack this”…..

  • J

    or “piggyback”

  • JPS

    None of these are specifically “PR phrases” per se, but simply overused business phrases. Disappointing.

  • iLeonD

    I was rooting for “deep dive” but it ran into the brick wall of “outside the box”.

  • Eric

    No “Synergy?”

  • http://www.heidiwillbanks.com/ Heidi Willbanks

    I’d like to add “tiger team”.

  • profromdover

    Swim lane

  • DB WA

    Next year: Framework & Path Forward

  • RC

    How does this not have alignment?

  • BAP

    Agree some of these are overused terms in business — not all show up in press releases. The forbidden phrase is our shop that is in so many releases is “pleased to announce.”