Memo from PR to journalists: "You can't handle the truth."
In these times of economic upheaval, some PR folks speak in strange tongues. As a public service, Sm@rt Partner decodes the hidden meanings. What follows are a series of common corporate pronouncements and their English translations:
PR Speak: "We deny the charges as baseless."
Translation: We are bending the truth as sharply as possible to prevent employees and stockholders from roasting us on a pyre of the trendy office furniture we insisted on buying.
PR Speak: "This reduction in force will create a flatter organization."
Translation: The guy who waters the ferns now is a direct report to the CEO.
PR Speak: "Executives are not available for comment."
Translation: We havent decided which executives will stay and which will go.
PR Speak: "Restructuring will increase efficiencies."
Translation: Weve rearranged the trendy office furniture on the Titanic.
PR Speak: "The executive left the company to pursue other interests."
Translation: The executive in question was unceremo-niously dumped along a deserted highway whilst strapped to the corporate foosball table.
PR Speak: "The parting was amicable."
Translation: There were a number of fistfights; no one was seriously hurt.
PR Speak: "We have no comment at this time."
Translation: We couldnt concoct a plausible cover story to meet your deadline.
PR Speak: "The company plans to sell strategic assets."
Translation: All the employees have jumped ship, but were willing to cut you a sweet deal on our trendy office furniture.
John writes the Contract Watch column and his own column for the Channel Insider.
John has covered the information-technology industry for 15 years, focusing on government issues, systems integrators, resellers and channel activities. Prior to working with Channel Insider, he was an editor at Smart Partner, and a department editor at Federal Computer Week, a newspaper covering federal information technology. At Federal Computer Week, John covered federal contractors and compiled the publication's annual ranking of the market's top 25 integrators. John also was a senior editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of Computer Systems News.