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Writing Press Releases (“quote…unquote”)

Now that we’ve covered introductions and the structure of a press release, breathing life into a story requires the human touch.

Quotes bring people into a story and, by definition, give it personality.

Adding at least two quotes – ideally from two different people – about a third of the way into the text and again, towards the end, allows you to introduce different perspectives on the idea at the heart of your story.

So far, we’ve mostly covered how to get all the most relevant information into a story but, for a press release to matter to readers, dry facts are rarely enough.

As a rule of thumb, people are interested in people. You might have a great product, service or event to promote but how does it make people feel, what do they think of it and why is it important to them?

Much of the skill in writing a news story or press release is in recognising the difference between creative writing and crafting text that has a job of work to do.

Here, you’re imparting information in as consistently interesting a manner as possible, rather than constructing a narrative with reversals, red herrings and other tricks that delay and build towards a climax.

Quotes are where you get to be creative and add warmth, energy or humour that will make your story – and your business – stand out.

magpieFor example:

Magpies Electricals manufacture the world’s finest televisions and radios.

The company represents the very best of British industry – a fact reflected in its many awards for quality and service. You can rely on Magpie.

That would be fine in a sales brochure but put that in a press release and an editor would probably cut it straight out.

Now, here’s the same message as a quote:

‘I’ve had my Magpie radio for over 20 years and my Mum’s had hers since the 1950s,’ said Magpie Electricals’ managing director, Ronald Cook.

‘We’re proud that our award-winning products are still made in Britain and built to last, which is why everyone can be sure that when we say “You can rely on Magpie”, we mean it.’

If your PR could do with an injection of personality drop me a line: mark@markwall.co.uk

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