You can’t bullsh*t a 5 year old

Unless you’re a train driver, pilot or the Prime Minister, you might find it hard to explain your job to a 5 year old.

I was asked to do this yesterday in a workshop run by the very intelligent guys at Sparksfire (they help adults have great ideas in case you were wondering). The question is a good one because in an industry full of buzzwords and PRWankery you’d be hard done by to explain what you do if you work in PR to someone who was born after Twitter was invented.

This isn’t a blog post about the definition about PR, but more so a plea for simplicity. There is no need for a lot of the buzzwords that are thrown around. They are convoluted and in my experience just hide the fact that someone may not necessarily know what they’re talking about.

Here are some common phrases I hear every day and what I think they really mean:

“Manage expectations” = just be honest. If you can do it, say so. If it can’t be done, say so.

“Influencer engagement” = talk to people who other people listen to

“Media outreach” = call or e-mail a journalist or blogger

“Touch base” = talk to each other

“Key targets” = the most important people who need to know what you’ve got to say

“Hope you are well today?” = I’m just being polite. I added a question mark just in case.

“Actionable items” = sh*t we have to do

“Going forward” = in the future

Any more for any more? Just imagine saying any of the above to a 5 year old. They’d probably look at you like this:


You wouldn’t want that, would you? So next time you catch yourself about to utter a buzzword, STOP. Before it’s too late and we are overwhelmed with key vocabulary that cannot be leveraged with a younger audience going forward. And if you just can’t help yourself, get a bullsh*t jar and donate 50p for every buzzword. Either you or a charity might become very rich…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: