Catch Us If You Can

Ok, you guys*, get your scorecards prepared.

You might need learn our checklist of probably the most despised {industry} jargon, buzzwords, and clichés a few months in the past. Once that article went stay, a few of its contributors confessed to utilizing phrases different contributors revile. (Check out the feedback on this LinkedIn post for proof.)

Since the checklist entries got here from Content Marketing World 2022 audio system, I couldn’t assist however marvel: Would any of these hated phrases echo via the keynote corridor or session rooms through the occasion?

That’s the place the scorecards are available.

While you’re in Cleveland this week, collaborating on-line subsequent week, or following the #CMWorld hashtag on social, preserve an ear out. Note what number of instances you see or hear every expression from the abridged checklist beneath.

Then, tell us within the feedback. Don’t identify names, please – no one’s excellent. And, in any case, one individual’s ‘engagement’ is one other individual’s ‘North Star.’

Note: This week, we’re giving everybody a style of Content Marketing World 2022 by that includes recaps of articles stuffed with insights from this yr’s audio system.


I want “activation” would die and by no means come again. Who talks like this? Other than businesspeople who by no means talked to their clients about their wants. Do clients say, “If only this were activated …”? Nope.”

Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

I want activation would die and by no means come again. Who talks like this? Do clients say, If solely this had been activated? Nope, says #CMWorld speaker @kathyklotzguest by way of @CMIContent.

Can you make this go viral?

This tells me {that a} consumer doesn’t perceive how public relations/content material advertising and marketing work. Going viral grew to become a factor again within the 2000s. Quora says the time period to “describe rapid and widespread social proliferation of a meme or product” began choosing up steam in 2008. I think about it’s been inflicting advertising and marketing people complications ever since.

Clients want to know that the one means to make sure you’ll be featured is to pay for an advert. Public relations and content material advertising and marketing take time and devoted effort. Very little success is had in a single day.”

Michelle Garrett, guide, Garrett Public Relations

Going viral became a thing in the 2000s. PR and #ContentMarketing take time and dedicated effort. Very little success is had overnight, says @PRisUs via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Check out

The phrase “check out …” is probably the most vapid, lazy name to motion ever invented. Stop it. Verbs are your folks, individuals.

Think about it: When’s the final time you ever checked out something anybody ever instructed you to take a look at? Never? Exactly. Because it’s such an empty, worthless name to motion, “check out” undercuts your authority and suggests “spam city.”

What will occur ought to I click on no matter it’s you need me to “check out?” Tell me. Give me a great motive to click on that sucker. Make me belief you.

Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO, Lately

Check out is the most vapid, lazy call to action ever invented, says #CMWorld speaker @LatelyAIKately via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


I shiver anytime a marketer talks about engagement. What precisely is engagement? Ask 20 entrepreneurs what they assume it means, and also you’ll get 20 completely different solutions. So, subsequent time you catch your self about to utter the phrase “engagement,” cease. Ask your self, what precisely do you imply?

Andrew Davis, creator and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Next time you catch yourself about to utter the word engagement, stop. Ask yourself, what exactly do you mean? #CMWorld speaker @DrewDavisHere via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Gendered language

We all want to consider our audiences and make everybody really feel included and revered. Stop saying “you guys” in conferences. Replace “man-hours” with “people-hours.” Think about industry-specific phrases that will isolate individuals and intention to be extra inclusive. Speak as much as assist others, and shift towards kinder, extra culturally applicable language.

Penny Gralewski, senior director, product and portfolio advertising and marketing, DataRobot

Stop saying you guys in meetings. Shift toward kinder, more culturally appropriate language, says @virtualpenny via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

It is what it’s

It is an terrible saying, which I’m attempting to not use anymore. It normalizes a established order that’s immovable and defeatist. I consider something can change, and as content material entrepreneurs, we all know the ability and influence of phrases, imagery, and video to make what it’s, every thing it may be.

Karen McFarlane, chief advertising and marketing officer, LetterShop


Learnings is on my private checklist as a result of it seems like one thing a toddler would say. Plus, we have already got two completely good phrases that categorical the identical which means: classes and takeaways.

Domain-specific jargon will be helpful as shorthand once you’re speaking with different individuals in your area (e.g., SERP, click-throughs, bounce charge). But basic enterprise jargon is pointless – and exclusionary. People who don’t communicate English natively usually battle with “corporate speak,” which ought to give all of us pause as our clients and teammates have gotten extra globally numerous every single day.

Sarah Goff-Dupont, principal author, Atlassian

Learnings sounds like something a toddler would say. Plus, we already have good words for the same meaning: lessons and takeaways, says @SarahGoffDupont via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

North Star

It may not appear contentious, however to an viewers based mostly within the Southern Hemisphere having a North Star as your guiding or underlying precept is complicated, illogical, and simply plain fallacious. We have the Southern Cross, however we don’t use that as a guiding mild. Why not simply use the phrases “guiding principle” or “core message” as a substitute?

Gina Balarin, director and content material queen, Verballistics


This phrase is overused. Perfection is a fantasy. Stop calling every thing “perfect.”

Bernie Borges, vice chairman international content material advertising and marketing, iQor


Making occasions digital (digital) in addition to in-person (bodily) makes them extra accessible and implies that extra numerous voices will likely be heard. But I can’t stand the phrase “phygital.” It is the worst portmanteau of all time, and I shudder each time I hear it.

Jacqueline Baxter, senior digital strategist, DX, Sitecore

I cannot stand the word phygital. It is the worst portmanteau of all time, and I shudder every time I hear it, says @JaxBaxter via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

How did we do?

Did you hear one in every of these phrases or see it in a quote or clip on social? Are there any you’d add to the checklist? Chime in beneath.

* Did you discover my use of gendered language? That’s a giant no-no, as Penny Gralewski rightly identified. How many different gadgets from the checklist did you see within the intro?

It’s not too late to study from all these Content Marketing World audio system. Register today for the net occasion September 21 – 22 and use promo code BLOG100 to save lots of $100.

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute