Avoid creative incest
Don’t model executive quotes on executive quotes
One problem with executive quotes is that we model them after other executive quotes. That’s how we wind up putting together ridiculous lines like these, from the UK Press quote generator:
“A market first, our cutting-edge software product is a major move towards WAP-enablement.”
“Representing a radical step-change, our new product set tests the performance of enhanced customer care.”
“Out-of-the-box, our end-to-end solution recognises the importance of mission critical operations.”
Marketing guru Dan Kennedy calls the practice of turning to ourselves for inspiration “creative incest.” As with regular incest, he says, the product of creative incest just keeps getting dumber and dumber and dumber with each generation.
So what’s the solution? …
- ‘I’m so excited’: Executives are in a tizzy over their announcements
- String readers along: Strings of quotes work when they’re fascinating
- Quotes on quotations: What writers & others say
Get the ‘wah wah’ out
Half of reporters complain that quotes in releases don’t sound natural, according to a 2014 Greentarget survey. Maybe that’s why 78% of them don’t regularly use quotes from releases.
No wonder! As one of my clients says, “Quotes in news releases sound like the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon: ‘Wah wah wah wah.’”
So how can you get the wah-wah out to write quotes that reporters will actually use?
At Not Your Father’s News Release — a two-day PR-writing Master Class on July 27-28 in Portland, Oregon — you’ll learn how to transform lame-ass quotes into killer sound bites. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Write tight bites. Even a lame quote will sound better when you use our quote length targets.
- Put a quota on quotes. Steal a trick from The New York Times to avoid overquoting.
- Write quotes that sound human — not like a computer spit them out
- Avoid the worst PR clichés. PR Newswire sees 1,284 of these in a single month.
- Steal techniques from Silver Anvil winners. Make your sound bites sound better.
This is the only PR-writing Master Class we’ve scheduled for this year. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn to write PR pieces that reach readers in 2016.
Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more