New marketing terms — “Optics” “Reaching Out” “Space” and more

Just when you think you know all the marketing and PR terms, new words enter our lexicon.

People no longer “contact” one another.  They “reach out.”  Situations don’t “look bad.”  They have bad “optics.”  Having “expertise” in a certain endeavor is gone.  Now it is working in a certain “space.”

Interesting how new terms come about, catch on and then become normalized.  These words have always existed, but never used in the context of marketing and PR as they are now.

It is almost as if you date yourself if you don’t play the game.  You can’t tell a client “doing that would be a mistake. It wouldn’t look good.”  You have to say, “the optics of that would be questionable.”  Makes you appear more contemporary.  And heaven forbid you invite someone to contact you with questions, rather than offering them to “reach out.”

Much of this is fueled by mainstream media where on-camera reporters and anchors want to appear young and with it.  It fuels the language, pushes it forward, and makes everybody feel young.

There is nothing wrong with tweaking English.  New sayings and terms come about all the time.  But with the pervasiveness of social media, with billions of new posts a day, new language can take on a life of its own virtually overnight.

So I guess Farr Marketing is no longer a PR consultancy firm.  We operate in the PR “space.”  We don’t contact press to pitch stories, we “reach out.”

We admittedly are guilty of using these terms and more.

We need to be aware of the “optics.”