Leximimicry – what’s that?

Dec 4, 2009 | Public relations

I recently started following Damon Carson, a PR wiz who advertised in one of the HARO newsletters.

For anyone who doesn’t know what HARO is… HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s a 3x/day listserv where reporters and bloggers ask for sources to help with stories they are writing. We’ve been able to get clients some amazing coverage thanks to HARO, including WSJ.com and CNN.com. Peter Shankman runs it – it’s free and well worth signing up for. You can sign up here: HARO

Anyway, one of the best parts about HARO is the advertisement at the top of each issue. I open every one, just to see who is advertising. And one day it was Damon.

He has some very interesting PR strategies, a lot of which can be copied by anyone and used in any market.

Here’s the latest (I checked and he said it was OK to share here)… You can find more tips from Damon at his website: Publicity Associates.


(From the Greek – lexikos, of words, and mimesis, imitation)

            Here is a fun little technique – “leximimicry” – if you want to improve your press release and promotional writing. 

Find a magazine that has products or services either similar to yours or that target the same audience.  Read through this magazine.  Pay very close attention to the words used in the different articles written by the editors and reporters to describe different things.  Also, you can very often find a completely different product than yours described in a way that you could borrow to describe your own. 

Look at the paid advertisements in particular.  These advertisers are often large companies spending huge sums of money for the best ad designers in the world.  Part of any great print ad is the copy.  Very high-priced copywriters choose just the right words and phrases to position a product or service in just the right way so you will want to buy. 

            You don’t have to be a word sleuth, just a leximimric.  Read and copy.  This is Bootstrapping 101, baby.  You can get all the pizzazz of high-priced words and writing styles for nary a cent. 

            Not long ago I was working on a press release for a high-end design client.  I picked up a copy of an affluent design magazine and began reading very closely.  I typed into my computer any words or phrases that I thought were particularly good and/or descriptive.  Here are some I found:

            The use of vivid, expressive color enlivens any home.

            The lamp redefined.

            Inspired by…


            Following in the footsteps

            Unbridled talent

            Reminiscent of

            Discriminating clients

            Capture the imagination


            Kaleidoscope of color

            Blurring the line between form and function


            Metal like you’ve never seen it before

            I then integrated some of these words and phraseologies into the press release.  This is leximimicry.  At this point, I was using the language of the design world to pitch a design story.  If I were writing something promotional about a new fishing lure, I would want to study the language of fishing using this very same method.  Likewise, business has its own language…”return on investment,” “target market,” “break-even point.”

Using the proper language greatly enhances any press release or promotional writing.  And practicing leximimicry makes it fast and easy.

Who else should read this? Please share!

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