1. Solutions. Without a doubt, the most overused word in news release headlines, copy and corporate boilerplate. Every company claim to have a “synergistic, cutting-edge, value-added, outside-the-box, industry-leading, innovative, disruptive, world class, revolutionary solution to (fill in the blank).”
2. Synergy. The word means the combined entity is greater than the sum of its parts. In the corporate world, it most often refers to mergers. I can’t remember many mergers where “synergy” would describe the merged company.
3. Bleeding edge/Cutting edge. How many companies or products truly can claim such a lofty position? It’s getting pretty crowded out there on the edge.
4. Value-added. Shouldn’t the value you bring to your clients be intrinsic? Why are you adding it?
5. outside the box. Where are all the boxes from which every company has escaped?
6. Industry-leading/Leader. Judging by the use of these phrases, every company distributing a news release today is a leader. How is the company judging leadership? Is it by, International, national, regional, local? More so, is leader judged by Technology, revenue, profit, number of employees, offices? If everybody is leading, who’s following?
7. Innovative. Even companies or products that win awards for innovation are rarely innovative.
8. Disruptive. Quick, name five disruptive products released in the past year. Sorry, time’s up. But judging from news releases, there are hundreds. Remember, disruption takes a long time.
9. World class. Most often found in corporate boilerplate, the phrase “world class” has no real meaning. Whom are you measuring against? And no one ever says American class or Canadian class. Don’t use it.
10. Revolutionary. One definition is “constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change.” Along with innovative and disruptive, it is highly unlikely your new product is truly revolutionary. It’s just the kind of hyperbole you should avoid.