Tim Phillips’s analysis of press releases on Factiva shows a worrying trend. The number of press releases that contain the words ‘significant’, ‘substantial’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘unique’ in the same text has nearly trebled in the last seven years. Something should be done.
I don’t really understand how writers get away with this. Journalists automatically discount hype. If anything, it has the opposite effect. No editor would let it escape into their paper anyway.
I think it is because PRs are paid by effort expended not results achieved and their primary audience is not (as you might think) journalists and their readers, but their corporate masters who pay the bills.