Home > PR > “Very Excited” and “Very Pleased” are Meaningless Press Release Quotes

“Very Excited” and “Very Pleased” are Meaningless Press Release Quotes

Very Pleasing Press Release Quotes

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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Photo credit: Pixabay (CC0 1.0)

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3 Responses

  1. Adam Sherk

    Great tip Frank. I would not have expected to see 13K+ instances of "very pleased" in Google News' index. In looking through some it does look a lot result from the use of that phrase in quotes.

  2. Krista

    The word "very" in front of any word should be stricken in general. But I agree, there seems to be a list of typical corporate jargon that ends up in too many company press releases. I like your recommendation to conduct an interview, as it demonstrates how interview skills have multiple useful functions in PR.

  3. Frank Strong, MA, MBA

    @Adam, yes, it was eye opening. I expected the results to show me a long list of press releases.

    @Krista very good comment. :-) It's always worth talking to people and getting their views. Sitting at a desk and trying to create a quote is a really a waste of time. Besides, I find people surprise me when I ask a few questions, and I often walk away a little bit smarter! Thanks Krista!

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