One of the common mistakes PR professionals do is including dry, boring quotes in the press release. These quotes lack substance.
Quotes are often neglected. Oftentimes, the focus of writers and PR pros is how they are going to promote themselves to the public. They set aside the fact how quotes can have a huge impact on communicating their key message.
They forget that the best way to come up with an effective quote is to tap into the story’s human element. Asking the right questions to the spokesperson can help you come up with better quotes.
Let’s first discuss why quotes matter in a release:
- Effective quotes make a story compelling and useful.
- It is used to differentiate opinions from facts. It gives the brand a chance to add a context, reiterate y its key message and clarify the significance of the announcement.
- Quotes should not only come from your company CEO or president. You can get quotes from third-party sources like customers and people outside the company. They provide more credibility to the story.
- It provides a different point of view, language and tone. It separates the words written by the writer from the spokesperson.
Quotes are important in a release. Its significance can’t be underestimated. Here are tactics that ensure that your quotes will really be noticed in your content:
1. Make it opinionated.
Quotes that stand out in a release are most likely to be retained by journalists. You can easily do this if you make them relevant to the readers.
Direct quotations provide emotions, perspective and natural expression of the sources. Do not summarize the quote before even presenting it in the story.
Avoid quotes that state facts. It is one of the common mistakes writers do. You should include the one that shows the emotions of the source.
Make sure that their insights surface in the quotation. Facts should only be included in the lede paragraph, and never inside the quotation.
Audiences relate faster and feel more connected to the story when they see that the source foster their real opinion and emotions. It is where people know the stand of the source. With it, they are able to make their own judgment about the story.
2. Make it simple.
You don’t have to use complicated words and jargons to impress your audience. Just because it is the CEO or the president speaking doesn’t mean that you’ll include the language they use in the actual quotation.
For your quote to shine, pick up a hard-hitting line that is never mentioned earlier in your content. Write it using simple words that everyone will understand.
Your audience should be able to relate to it. Avoid buzzwords, acronyms and complex terms. They must understand what the source is saying, without the need to use dictionary or browse through Google.
Do not use words, such as “excited,” “delighted,” “proud” or “thrilled,” they don’t add anything to the quote. Moreover, they are clichés and should be avoided.
Be punchy. Be direct when expressing the impact of your news.
3. Offer a new perspective.
Quotes should be fresh. Don’t add something that has already been said in the release. That is just repetition and will not excite your readers.
Offer a new perspective that will entice the audience to think. A new idea or opinion will generate their interest more.
Let them assess what your source is saying. Does it compel them to engage? Are they ready to leave a comment after knowing what your source said?
When they find your quote credible and effective, it boosts their engagement. They are more likely to provide their opinion on what you are claiming.
4. Generate newsworthy quotes.
For some PR people, generating newsworthy quotes can be a real challenge. Not all sources are brave enough to air their opinions, or are too busy to provide an interview.
If this is your problem, it will be hard for you to generate newsworthy quotes. Here are ways how you can deal with this kind of issue:
- Have a ready schedule with the spokesperson prior to meeting. Do not use emails to get book with them.
- Be prepared to instruct your sources the importance of relevant quotes. Explain that great quotes can make a huge difference between getting media coverage and being ignored.
- Keep a list of open-ended questions, such as “How the news impact people and the company?” “What is their opinion regarding the announcement?” “What problems might be solved by the offer?”
- Make sure to use the language of your source to provide a more, natural language and tone.
5. Save the journalist’s time.
Whenever you are sending quotes, make sure that it is what the journalist would use. It can save a great deal amount of their time.
Remember that they are facing deadlines and pressure to meet the 24-hour news cycle. If you’re going to give them news-quality quotes, they will not have a problem to book an interview with your company spokesperson, or to rewrite your content.
However, if your quotes don’t pass their requirements, they need to find time to interview the resource person to provide their take on the news. Instead of making their job harder, make it easier for them.
When adding quotes, make sure that they are quality one. It will be a great help for them.
6. Use questions.
Some stories are just boring, no matter how newsworthy it is. However, incorporating a human element can add a bit of spice to it.
For instance, if your brand is offering a new technology that will improve the lives of farmers, ask, “What kind of technology is it?” “Who are the people behind it?” “How will farmers benefit from it?”
By asking these questions, the source can provide a different perspective that is new to the release. The answers they provide give a different angle. It’s more than the facts, statistics or features of your product or service.
7. Attribute the source appropriately.
When quoting someone, make sure to acknowledge them by writing their complete name, position and company. Without it, reporters aren’t going to go out their way to just search for the details.
Make it easier for them to use your quotes. Know how to properly quote the source.
Attribution is done for the audience and not for the source. A company issuing a release doesn’t mind if you ran the content verbatim or copied some lines without rewriting it.
However, the goal of attribution is to let the readers know that you are not the direct source of the information. They need to know where the actual source comes from. Use quotation marks when quoting a release verbatim or rewriting it.
8. Punctuate your quotes the right way.
A comma is necessary inside the quotation marks to isolate what the source is saying from the tagline. Don’t commit the same error of writers when they place the comma after the quotation mark.
Other rules to follow when quoting:
- Capitalize the first word of the quote. The sentence starts where the actual sentence begins or what the source is saying.
- The final punctuation is inside the quotation marks when the quote concludes the sentence.
9. To get good quotes, don’t offer options.
You can generate quality quotes from the source if you are going to ask a direct question. Don’t offer choices. This doesn’t help if you want to squeeze the juices.
Be clear with what you want to ask. Don’t offer answers in order to make the interview faster and shorter.
Doing this can make the work harder both for you and the source. The source may get confused and miss the point.
This is not good for your quotation. Limit the answer. Be on point.
When you are getting quotes, and you don’t understand the point, don’t assume anything. Instead, clarify it.
Don’t pretend that you understand when you don’t really get the point. This affects the quality of your quotes.
Be polite when asking them to reiterate the point. This time, make sure that you don’t miss anything.
11. Be an active listener.
When getting quotes, make sure that you are an active listener. Speak less.
Your source should talk more during an interview. You should carefully listen to the information and quotes.
Don’t forget to list all possible questions. This enhances the quality of quotes you’re getting.
In order to get quality quotes, you need to master the art of talking to people. You can conduct it in a number of ways, from a simple phone interview to a formal sit-down interview.
Remember that you need great quotes for your release. Be ready for your intended interview. Ready the possible questions.
Bring with you a pen and a paper. A formal interview may require you to bring a recorder or your smartphone.
When it’s time to add quotes in your release, properly cite the source. If you’re not going to mention the identity of the speaker, it can affect your credibility and authority.
Finally, don’t quote someone out of its original context. It is unprofessional and unethical.
Press release source: https://www.newswire.com/features/distribution