We are very pleased to announce our company has signed a new customer. We are very pleased a new executive as joined our team. We are very pleased to have won an award.
Are you very pleased? Shocking.
Do businesses put out statements when they are not pleased? Perhaps. But very reluctantly.
The mere thought of “very pleased” makes me cringe. It sounds contrived. It is contrived.
It’s like a half smile when you have to smile but you’re not *really* happy. Cheese.
This also applies to “we are excited to announce” and other variations too. And putting the adverb “very” in front doesn’t make your excitement any more compelling.
Still, it continues to make its way into organizational announcements.
I was about to argue in this post that no journalist would ever use such a quote in a real news article, but a quick Google search will prove they actually do.
That’s the cost of six posts a day, but six wrongs don’t make a right. Click-bait journalism? Or is it?
This is especially true if they’re promoting their own stuff. Sometimes the hacks are worse than the flacks.
Quotes in press releases, or emails, or heaven forbid, bonafide journalism, should offer analysis, or insight, or something that is the opposite of the obvious. Say something that matters.
Is it hard to write quotes? Yes. That’s why you shouldn’t.
Instead, interview the person you’re quoting. Ask questions. Ask hard questions. Ask questions that make them uncomfortable.
Ask why. Then ask why again. And again. And again. And again.
They say it takes five “whys” to get at the heart of it.
Use that information to get their perspective, their words, their language, and their meaning, in order 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 pleasing indeed. I’m excited just thinking about it. Very excited.
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