Part 1. Press Release Quotes — Here to Stay, So Watch What You Say
Depending on whom you listen to, the press release is either totally dead, fully digital or hopelessly dated. Without question, press releases have changed dramatically. The days of snail mailing and faxing releases are long, LONG gone. Most releases probably don’t even get printed as hardcopies. Because we can, we pack releases with key words, links, video and images. We don’t write them just for gatekeeping editors anymore. Anyone using a search engine can find your finished, distributed release.
Some changes are for the better; others (like Press Release 2.0 smprtemplate(1)) strike me as a confusing waste of time. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the use of quotes in a B2B press release. In some contemporary releases, the quotes are given their own special section, complete with a clever title such as “Executive Quotes.” (Like no one could otherwise find the quotes in a two-page document?)
Corporations Are People, So Sound Like a Human Being
Quotes show the human side of your company. Too bad so many press release quotes don’t sound like anything a human being would actually say.
“We are excited about this unique opportunity to bring leading edge solutions to customers in these dynamic markets,” said Bland Suitguy, Vice President of Vagueness, Inc. “We will focus on best-in-breed quality on a going forward basis.”
What a wasted opportunity to say something meaningful. (Of course, you know I totally made that one up, but tell the truth, you’ve read lots of quotes just like that, haven’t you?)
Like the example above, the typical B2B press release quote is more a self-serving homage to the company putting out the release, than something intended to be of actual interest to a reader. It’s written that way because it’s always been done that way. Let’s all agree not to do that anymore, okay? And let’s especially agree not to admit “We are excited” in our press releases. Pinky promise?
It’s Up to You – Don’t Encourage Lameness
Think about quotes from the perspective of the editor on the receiving end who controls the posting of your release. Editors have to fill a magazine or a website with content, and have no time to spend making all the releases they get sound pretty or smarter. When you take the time to craft an intelligent quote, editors get article-quality content without having to write it themselves – or pay for someone else to do it. Sure, editors will run releases with lame or bland quotes. They do all the time, but that still doesn’t make it a good quote.
Be a Good Journalist
A good quote raises the journalistic value of your release and improves its appeal to an editor. It makes your company sound smart, not bland. Why not use the opportunity to have someone say something that makes your executives sound visionary and demonstrates their thought leadership?
In the next WordScience blog, I’ll share some more ideas about effective ways to use B2B press release quotes and some specific techniques for giving your quotes more punch. In the meantime, let’s have some fun. Share some of the worst press release quotes you’ve seen. (Hopefully, I didn’t write any of them.) We’ll change the names to protect the clueless.
Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.netpress release, press releases