Is no one else annoyed by the sound bite that means close to nothing? Yesterday the Wall Street Journal canvassed the usual cabal of M&A bankers for their market outlook on mergers and acquisitions activity. Of note was their endless use of metaphors and analogies to illustrate simple concepts and trends. Weirdly overdone.
One of the vogues in PR and media training is to encourage clients to drive home key points by way of illustrative metaphors. Color your sound bites with analogy and metaphor! You can’t help but be quoted!
It seems bankers have taken this to heart. By way of explanation one advised “we need a couple of people to jump into the bath and say the water isn’t cold in here.” Others added, the European economy continues “in emergency care on life support”, the “seeds of recovery have taken root” but it will be a while before the market is “going pedal to the metal.” Enough!
The PR Verdict: “C” for the use of metaphors and analogies in PR. Yes it has its place but what about stating something clearly and unequivocally?
Ideas have their own power. Metaphors and analogies don’t always need to be used to support an idea. Besides, the word on the street is that when the balloon goes up there will be blood on the floor, as the use of the metaphor withers on the vine. See?…We hope we made our point clearly.
For a copy of the WSJ article click here. (available only to WSJ subscribers)