One of the easiest and most effective ways to complement your press releases is to use quotes.
Quotes in press releases are mainly used to add a human dimension to otherwise factual text, to convey dense information in a natural way and, most importantly, to add credibility to the company and spokesperson.
Journalists include quotes in their work not only for the anecdotal evidence that supports the story but also because they bring stories to life by presenting opinions and experiences directly from the source. On the other hand, they can easily reject quotes that don’t offer an opinion; more so when the quotes are not clear or sound unnatural, and don’t add value to the story.
Importantly, quotes are the only thing in a press release that journalists cannot change (though editorial policies may clarify them with notes), so use it as a valuable opportunity to shine. Don’t waste your chance in the spotlight!
1. Don’t only talk about your mission and values – Talk about practical steps you are taking, goals you have achieved, the impact they make, and how your customers benefit from your actions. These can be said in a way to reflect your values. Don’t repeat facts already stated in the press release. Offer an angle that will enrich the PR and add deep insight into your company (and perhaps into yourself as a thought leader).
2. Make your quotes sound as natural as possible – According to research, 50% of journalists say they reject quotes because the language sounds unnatural. Read the quote aloud, and if it sounds like how you would talk to another person, you’ve got it right.
3. Make sure your sentences are grammatically correct – As journalists cannot edit the quotes, they are compelled to reject them if they are not clear with good grammar. You can also have someone proof your quote, or indicate to the journalist that you would like that done.
4. Avoid overused expressions – Such as: “We are delighted”,” we are thrilled”, “we are excited”, etc. We tend to overuse certain words and expressions. After some time they become stale and will turn your readers off. You want people to read your quote and be blown away by your company’s achievements, not lose interest and stop reading!
5. Include quotes / testimonials from your customers – There is nothing more powerful than social proof, and nothing is more convincing than one of your clients singing your praises for helping out. Do note that if you don’t have any clients gushing over your company, you need to fix that issue first! You always need to ask for the client’s permission, but once you have that and their quote, you are ready to make your press release as awesome as possible. Hint: if your client is another company, they’re likely to be happy with the free exposure of being featured in your PR.
There is a fine line between empty shilling and genuine testimony, so take care to ensure these types of quotes add value for the reader.
A quote is much more than just a way to add some padding and variety to a press release. It is a powerful opportunity to demonstrate your successes, and build excitement and social validation about your offering in ways otherwise not possible.
Use quotes in press releases as your secret weapon. Just keep it to yourself; you didn’t read it here!
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