Quotes on relevant releases

What writers & others say

Quotes on Thinking Like a Reporter

Mirror, mirror “Organizations write press releases for themselves, not for readers.” — A frustrated PR pro. Image by abigail low


“Reporters, like the rest of us humans, prefer to do business with people who are smart, funny, and perhaps a tad self-deprecating — so act accordingly.”
— Katie Burke, head of analyst and media relations at HubSpot

“Organizations write press releases for themselves, not for readers.”
— A frustrated PR pro

“Stop the BS and hype. I don’t want to hear that the XYZ company, ‘Leader in the field of fisbies’ has announced a revolutionary new computer … with no data, no insight, no competitive data, just BS, time-wasting words. Do you PR people really think we’re going to either be influenced by that or, worse yet, print it?”
— Jon Peddie, Jon Peddie Associates, interviewed by Softletter.com

“The concept of ‘right now’ and ‘affecting all of us’ is massive. You can turn a lot heads and build a lot of story if you tie it into time and effect.”
— Peter Shankman, author of Can We Do That?

“Occasionally, PR people simply need to grow a pair at the risk of offending the client or executive for the greater good of the company. Let’s face it, painting the conference room is not ‘news,’ nor is ‘new person hired for second eastern region assistant sales position.’ News is news that matters to more than your company. It’s information that’s beneficial to an industry or a whole host of readers. If your client has that kind of news, pitch your heart out. But if not, sometimes the best thing you can do to save your clients’ (and your) reputation, is to say no.”
— Peter Shankman, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) founder

“What I really like about a (press release) is when it scratches my reader’s itch and not your client’s itch.”
— A trade journal editor quoted in Public Relations Tactics

“The biggest mistake people make when it comes to PR is doing exactly what everyone else does: boring press releases, robotic executive briefings, and dry advertising and campaigns. At the end of the day, reporters live for a great story they can share, and that starts with a unique perspective, a new angle on an old story, or a scoop no one else has.”
— Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor of New York City

“A long-standing tenet of effective PR has been to read the publication and, ideally, the reporter’s work. That has been like preaching abstinence to teen-agers: great in theory, but not very applicable to the real world. But a blog has everything a blogger has written, complemented by relevant links. There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing what a blogger’s passions and idiosyncrasies are before you converse about — not pitch — a concept.”
— Nick Wreden, FusionBrand blogger
  • Think Like a Reporter

    Develop stories that media outlets want to run

    Some 55% to 97% of all releases sent to media outlets are never used, according to Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.

    Think Like a Reporter: Develop stories that media outlets want to run

    So how can you create PR pieces that are among the 3% to 45% of those that actually get the word out?

    Put your PR pieces among the 3% to 45% that actually get the word out.

    At NOT Your Father's News Release — our two-day hands-on PR-writing master class on Sept. 6-7 in Atlanta — you’ll learn how to think like a reporter to develop story angles that readers want to read (and that journalists and bloggers want to run). Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

    • Fill in the blanks to a great benefits lead: Get formulas for leads that sell the story and stand out from the crowd.
    • Move from event to impact: Learn simple steps for transforming your event, speech or meeting coverage into news readers can use to live their lives better.
    • Create two types of stories media outlets want more of (and avoid one they wish they’d never see again!)
    • Go beyond “new and improved” to information readers really want to know about your product.
    • Steal secrets from Silver Anvil winners: What do nationally award-winning PR writers do that you don’t do?

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