Words

by Roger Pynn

Isn’t it interesting how we can give words new meaning?

“Influencer marketing,” “progressive,” “content” … they’re just a few that intrigue me.

Lyle Stevens’ article “Three Reasons Brands Should Be Using Influencer Marketing” is interesting, but it makes a time-honored public relations practice sound like a revolutionary tube of toothpaste being introduced to a cavity-filled generation anxious to avoid dentures.  He’s talking about targeting your most important audiences by communicating with thought leaders in a digital era.

The tussle between the Sanders and Clinton wings of the Democratic Party is framed by a single word.  When “liberal” became a negative, liberals chose to call themselves something else and co-opted the word “progressive,” forever denying it to conservatives who may believe their policies promote progress.  Interesting in that when you Google “progressive movement” the first thing you’ll find is a fascinating George Washington University entry from the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project that defines “The Progressive Era” as that time from 1890-1920.

Of course, it depends upon whether the word “content” is being used to describe a sense of satisfaction … or refers to words, pictures, etc., and is just another way of defining what professional communicators have been developing for years:  communications tools.

But I’m glad to know 40+ years after I entered this business that there was a name for it all along.

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