Bringing Personality Back to Your Press Release: How to Move Beyond the Same Old Quotes
By Despina Maris, Senior Editor
Adding quotes to your press release is a great way to interest readers and provide context to your news. Quotes express the thoughts and opinions of others, add personality and create a personal connection.
When you add quotes you avoid the “PR template” style, which can sound canned or boring. Quotes that are colorful and clear prevent your press release from sounding like paragraphs of facts that don’t give the reader any human interaction.
Not only do engaging quotes create a well-balanced press release, but they can also add credibility to the claims being made because they are attributed to an actual person. Hearing from someone who is an expert in the field of technology, for instance, adds credibility to your press release about software products. Getting quotes from a C-level employee in your company about what he or she thinks or feels about the company’s direction is another great way to draw attention to your news because it helps emphasize management’s engagement.
While getting quotes from these sources is vital to the success of your press release, the questions you ask your sources are just as important. Making sure your CEO, client or customer gives a response that will be engaging can be done by asking specific questions about the product or service mentioned in the release. How is it beneficial? What are its uses? Why is the company excited about its launch? Phrasing the questions in a way that helps spotlight the information will generate the clearest response.
It is also good practice to remind your sources that they should avoid using standard business-speak language in quotes, as it makes it feel less organic and more like a template from a PR writer. If you write a quote on behalf of someone, briefly talk with him or her first if possible — it helps to create a quote with a conversational tone that reflects that individual’s personality.
Following is an example of what not to do when writing a press release quote:
“We are pleased that we have established a legacy in the foodservice industry because of our innovative, state-of-the-art FRZQK© processing methodology and our ability to capitalize on cryogenic freezing technology to meet customer needs,” said John Jones, EVP, FRZ/ITM product line management, FreezQuik Foods, Ltd. “We will continue to push the envelope in delivering industry-leading products because our customers know we care about their health.”
And here is the quote rewritten to capture the essence of what’s above while eliminating the jargon and excess words (technology details can be in another part of the press release — not in the quote). We also replaced the spokesperson with someone who is a more well-known brand representative:
“We care about our customers’ health,” said Larry Smith, president of FreezQuik Foods, “so we developed a better way to provide them with healthy, nutritional produce no matter what the season.”
When you write your next press release quote, keep these few points in mind:
- Keep sentences short – don’t write a 30-word sentence when a 10-word sentence will do.
- Avoid words like delighted, thrilled, pleased, excited and proud – they have no news or business value and don’t advance the story.
- Use conversational language – it’s more believable.
- Don’t use industry jargon, buzzwords or acronyms – and avoid corporate words like synergize, facilitate, leverage and impactful.
- Add opinion and interpretation, discussing the potential impact of your news.
- Consider posing a customer problem and explaining how you made decisions that drove a final solution.
- Feature spokespeople who lend credibility to your news.
By applying these tips and ideas, your quotes will bring the positive attention to your company that you desire and create a connection with your audience. You’ll also add context and color to your news while providing additional insight into why your news is important.