May 28, 2017

Craft snappy sound bites

List, rhyme and twist

When the Federal Trade Commission needed to explain why the agency has decided not to develop a do-not-spam registry — officials feared that spammers would target people on the list — a spokesperson said:

“You’ll be spammed if we do — and spammed if we don’t.”

Craft snappy sound bites

Sound off with sound bites Craft memorable quotes with wordplay. Photo by Jason Rosewell

You’ve got to love that sound bite! How can you craft such a memorable, quotable line for your copy? One approach is to list, rhyme and twist. Here’s how:

1) List.

Write down the key or topic words from your article.

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“LAQs: A publicist’s worst nightmare: Lame-ass quotes. In a sound bite world, the last thing you want are LAQs.”
— BuzzWhack

Write Killer Bites in Chicago

Turn lame-ass quotes into scintillating sound bites

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.

Are dull quotes putting your readers to sleep?

Are dull quotes putting your readers to sleep? Learn how to craft fun, interesting and memorable sound bites that are read and remembered by them. Image by olle svensson

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 and instead write quotes that reporters will actually use?

At NOT Your Father’s News Release — our two-day PR-writing master class on May 18-19 in Chicago — you’ll learn how to transform your quotations from bleh to brilliant.

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.

Last call to register for Not Your Father’s News Release in 2017.

“Fantastic! Reinforced some of our best practices, and identified so many more that we can put to action immediately.”
— Kelsey Ruthman, account manager, Osborn Barr

Polish your skills at these Master Classes

Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Chicago on May 18-19, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's concise-writing workshop in San Francisco on Aug, 17-18, 2017
Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in New York: Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop in New York on Sept. 25-26, 2017
Register for Catch Your Readers in Kansas City: Ann Wylie's persuasive-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017
Register for Write For The Web and Mobile: Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Miami on Dec. 11-12, 2017

Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Avon, Connecticut: May 31
  • Birmingham, Michigan: May 22
  • Chicago: May 18-19
  • Geneva: July 6
  • Johnson, Rhode Island: Aug. 7-11
  • Kansas City: Nov. 16-17
  • Miami: Dec. 11-12
  • New York: Sept. 25-26
  • Northbrook, Chicago: June 14
  • Plano, Texas: Oct. 19-20
  • Portland: June 6 & July 27-28
  • Roseville, California: Oct. 24
  • San Francisco: Aug. 17-18

Keep up with my calendar.

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