Per today’s WSJ…apparently the big new jargon word for corporate communications attempting to side step the bleak earnings outlook for 2008 is “headwinds.” A smattering of Executives have recently used the term including Wachovia, GM, Yahoo and even the Fed. The article looks at the true definition of the word, its history of use from an economic perspective and the validity of its current use by corporations.
My issue is this represents the continued practice by PR to mask facts with jargon that provides little useful information. Telling analysts you will be facing a headwind is completely meaningless. As example from the article, when an audience member asked “So, how big a headwind should we think about in ’08?”…the executive stated “Well, right now, it’s a big headwind.” Thanks…that clears it up perfectly.