In pitching we get a few paragraphs, at best, to attract, interest, and motivate readers. We have specific points to provide, but how we organize, word, and phrase our work sets an imperative tone. The saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” comes to mind, but in writing it’s how you word it that strongly influences the direction of interpretation.
Since English contains far more words than any of the world’s ever-fluctuating seven thousand languages we have the options to better, or unconsciously hinder, our work; especially in the era of brevity.
I find myself stretching my linguistic possibilities because flexibility is necessary to conform to today’s tight standards. Twitter’s character countdown reads red at 19, perhaps so it feels less like a credit card decline when we’ve spent our 140 figures. We must become contortionists of words fit into the small spaces allotted for written communication without losing purpose or voice.
The more impressive the act; perhaps, the better the reciprocation.
While media thrives in this challenge, science battles condensing, because in the length there’s nuance. In regards to public relations we must strive to maintain our edge in an attractive pointed space. Otherwise we’re providing a disservice to client and audience alike.
Media and society are seemingly symbiotic. Together they popularize words and debate their meanings, silly and serious. Recently, columnist Bill Keller wrote about Lisa Adams, a New York cancer patient having “blogged and tweeted” while people argued that “she has written”. Later, Richard Sherman was tagged a “thug” sparking conversations about the word’s definition and applications. Words are powerful and under constant reform as language evolves with society.
It’s hard to imagine what lingo will fashion next. Back to the Future Part II’s staging of 2015 decided not to touch on the progression of linguistics; leaving us unprepared for totes, #typical, ttul, or twerking. Looking back, Biff and Lorriane’s faux-relationship should’ve been glorified by our trend to mash celebrity-couples’ names, maybe Lorriff?
Abbreviations, slang, and acronyms are not only products of our fast-paced lives, but also culture. Words often become suited in regional style and women tend to abbreviate more than men. People like shortcuts so much that even without space or time restrictions they’re habitually abridged.
It’s important for public relations professionals to monitor how our writing resonates as we accumulate and assemble material catering to all folks. Notice if the synonym saving you from redundancy or length shakes the message positively or negatively. And understand how and where specific trends and analogies will support or spoil a pitch. Words define our clients and prefixed hashtags stick like virtual scarlet letters, so it’s our job to make certain they’re good ones.