Wise words for the year

It’s that time of year again, when dictionary publishers announce their ‘word of the year’ – a term or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest over the last twelve months.

The Cambridge Dictionary has announced ‘upcycling’ as its winner for 2019, as it resonated most strongly with its Instagram followers. Collins Dictionary has chosen ‘climate strike’ as its word of the year, reflecting that it is being used widely in “news stories and images”  and has increased widely in its usage, according to its lexicographers.

It’s great to see that phrases related to sustainability are top of the news agenda and being spoken about frequently. As PR experts in the recycling sector, we are well aware of the power of language to influence, share ideas and communicate best practice.

Providing comment on big themes such as sustainability, workplace well-being and fair pay can make a world of difference to our life, as well as demonstrating that organisations’ care.

Words must, however, be chosen carefully, as they also have the power to hurt, mislead or confuse people. When used unwisely, they can damage the reputation of big brands. Gerald Ratner’s ill-advised joke about his company’s products, continues to go down in history as a prime example of a marketing mistake, that saw the high-street jewellery business, Ratners, go into decline. On social media, McDonalds made a gaffe with its #McDStories campaign in 2012, which invited customers to share good experiences, but mostly saw criticism. One person’s ‘banter’ can be another person’s insult, and a careless word can soon turn into a damaging headline.

If you’re hoping to get the word out there about your business, public relations can help you manage the narrative about your story. Insights can be shared, using appropriate messaging, presented with clarity, so that they resonate with, not alienate, key stakeholders.

To find out more about how we can expertly shape and manage your reputation and engage with audiences nationally and internationally, let’s talk!