I’m pleased to present my first blog post

No. I’ll take it one step further – I am THRILLED to present my first blog post. That got your attention didn’t it? You’re hooked now and want to keep reading, right? Wrong. Words like “thrilled,” “pleased,” “delighted” and “proud” are such a waste of time. When I read one of them in a corporate quote I immediately stop because all it really tells me is that the person or company has nothing to say but how happy they are for themselves.

Sigh. Even my favourite Canadian songstress, Sarah McLachlan, is guilty of it. Sarah: I know you’re proud of your album cover. I agree that it looks amazing! And for the record, I’m keen to hear your new songs – it’s been awhile!

But I digress.

Good writing skills are essential to being a successful communicator. But ironically, where we stumble the most is in the media release – our most hallowed tool.

Crafting a compelling and thoughtful quote for a release isn’t an art, but it requires, well, some thought. Everyone knows that you’re pleased. Otherwise you wouldn’t be making the announcement. A good quote needs provides context to the story that you want a journalist to write. A great quote will even add some colour! For a healthy dose of colour, read anything said by one of my favourite corporate spokespeople, Jim Shaw – right or wrong, he gives a great quote.

And while we’re on the subject, there’s no need to add colour to how your spokesperson is speaking. Keep it simple. He or she said it so use “said” – not exclaimed, announced, effused, stated, proclaimed or any other words like them.

Let’s make a deal – no more being pleased and excited. After all, those words are better suited for use in the bedroom than in the same paragraph of a media release, no? Be bold! Say something meaningful when you’re up on your soap box. I promise that you’ll have a much better chance seeing that quote in the Globe and Mail versus just on your corporate website.

Trevor Boudreau (Wilcox Group’s wordgeek-in-training.)

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~ by Wilcox Group Team on May 12, 2010.

One Response to “I’m pleased to present my first blog post”

  1. Oh God. Somebody stop me. I’m leaving comments on the Wilcox PR Group blog.

    I rarely disagree with you, Trevor – and I’m going to disagree with you on this one. As someone who gets pitched hundreds (did I say hundreds – YES, HUNDREDS) of times a week, I do get excited when I read a press release or a pitch that says that “So-And-So is excited to announce something”. Maybe because I am actually rather excitable. But then again, maybe that’s just me and my bubbly personality. Yeah, modesty doesn’t become me, does it?

    I think I know what you are trying to say here, and what I would recommend for the PR writer is – make your spiel compelling. Make me WANT to write about it. Good post!

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