Monday, October 29, 2007

How to Talk like a PR Blogger

Cruising the PR blogosphere has not only taught me so much about social media and the PR industry, but also some PR 2.0 lingo. Next time you're catching up on your PR industry RSS feeds, you may come across some words and phrases unfamiliar to the noob PR student.

snarky - I've seen this word used a lot and had no real idea what it meant beyond what I could gather from context clues. luckily one of our texts, The New Influencers, provides a definition in the glossary! Paul Gillin defines "snarky" as "Early twentieth century British slang for 'to nag' or 'to find fault with.' In the blogosphere, it is frequently used as an adjective for cynical or sarcastic" (pg. 222)

snake oil - a term I've seen tossed around by those who hate the idea that PR is using social media as a cure-all for the industry's woes or to discount those entrepreneurs who think their Web 2.0 startup is going to be the next MySpace. This one I had to look up on Wikipedia: "The expression is also applied metaphorically to any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality."

"drinking the Kool-Aid" - seen this one in multiple places as well. Urban Dictionary gives us this definition: "A reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones, the leader of the group, convinced his followers to move to Jonestown. Late in the year he then ordered his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavored Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. In what is now commonly called "the Jonestown Massacre", 913 of the 1100 Jonestown residents drank the Kool-Aid and died. One lasting legacy of the Jonestown tragedy is the saying, “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.” This has come to mean, "Don’t trust any group you find to be a little on the kooky side." or "Whatever they tell you, don't believe it too strongly". The phrase can also be used in the opposite sense to indicate that one has embraced a particular philosophy or perspective."

Urban Dictionary example:
Chris: I'm thinking about attending a PETA rally
Donna: Whatever you do, don't drink the Kool-Aid!

Want some examples of this lingo in action? Type in any of these words into your RSS search and I'm sure you'll come up with multiple blog posts including these phrases. Try it yourself! As always, if you have more to add then please comment and submit your definition!

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

I'm totally going to start using these terms. Not only in blogs but everyday conversation. haha