The Facts Are Fiction

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.