We are very pleased ACME corporation has signed on as a customer. We are very pleased Yai Lark joined our executive team. We are very pleased to have won the most awesomest award ever.
“Very pleased.” The thought of it makes me cringed. It’s inauthentic. It sounds contrived. It is contrived. It’s good old boy back slapping chatter that adds zero value to a press release.
Still, “very pleased” continues to make its way into organizational announcements.
You’re very pleased? Really? Pleased? Shocking! I mean, I thought you might be heartbroken. That’s why you published an announcement, right?
Even so, I’d stubbornly contend quotes in releases, if necessary at all, should offer analysis about the announcement you’re making. Perhaps the quote analyzes the product, its impact on the customer, or the ramifications for the industry, but it should be some sort of analysis about what this announcement means.
A simple guideline? Text and copy provide facts; quotes provide analysis. Say something that matters.
Is it hard to write quotes? Yes. That’s why you shouldn’t.
My suggested remedy is an extremely complex and novel idea: interview the person you’re quoting. Ask questions. Ask hard questions. Ask questions a reporter might ask. Use that information to get their perspective and use their words, their language and their meaning to draft a quote worthy of an announcement.
Doing so will help you write better copy, develop better announcements, and publish releases that read like news, rather than puffery. That would be very pleasing indeed.
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