How to Get Your Press Release Quotes Used by the Media

Yuba City, CA - Acme Clay Bobble Inc. announced today the newest generation of its patented EZ Clay Bobble. Fishermen everywhere have long relied on the EZ Clay Bobble to keep their fishing lines in sight in the gloomiest of fog above the water's surface, and invisible to the fish in the clearest waters below. The new and improved EZ Clay Bobble has been outfitted with glow-in-the-dark functionality.

"We're thrilled that our team of engineers has added glow-in-the-dark capability to our EZ Clay Bobble," said Fern Dinwiddie, founder and CEO of Acme Clay Bobble Inc. "This first-in-class, must-have fishing tool just got even better."

How many journalists and bloggers do you think will bite at the bait and use these quotes verbatim should they deign to write about this fictitious new and improved product? My guess would be none.

One of the quickest ways to grab the attention of a frazzled journalist scanning your press release is to include a great quote. A great quotation (many insist on the use of the more precise "quotation") can be the perfect bait for a journalist and, as Don Bates, instructor in writing and clinical assistant professor at New York University says, "because they’re someone’s 'own' words, editors will almost never edit them except to correct a grammatical error."

Bates offers six practical tips to make the quotations in your press releases more quotable:

1. Don’t make them up unless you must. Pull them from phone or in-person interviews. Try to use one or two at most in a news release. 

2. Make the quotes as incisive as possible. Aim for something short, sweet, memorable.

3. Don’t use throwaways; e.g., “We’re delighted that John Doe will be joining our management team." 

4. If you can, give your quotes added weight by quoting an authority, not a spokesperson.

5. Don’t back into the quotes with introductory phrases such as “In thinking about this product, it’s clear that….”  Get to the point: “It’s clear this product is….” or “I believe this product is….”

6. Train management and clients in the art of speaking and/or writing good quotes and work with them to develop a process that assures you obtain the best.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI

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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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