December 18, 2017

Quotes on PR writing

What writers & others say

Quotes on PR writing

“We’re about to announce [the press release] is Old World technology that relates to a different type of media. The world is filled with too much information, and too much of it is wrong or irrelevant.”
— Matthew Bishop, business editor and New York bureau chief, The Economist

“Barneyware: The purple dinosaur may have faded from the scene, but his legacy lives on. Barneyware is anything that has little or no substance. Example: A joint press release by two companies that have nothing new to announce, but in order to generate media attention declare their mutual admiration for each other. In effect, the release says nothing more than ‘I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.'”

“Doctors lose their licenses. Drunk drivers get cited in the local papers. Speeders get tickets. Wild pitchers get pulled from the baseball game. Pedophiles must post signs warning the public of their past crimes. Why shouldn’t grossly careless or incompetent PR people be lined up, exposed, and punished, too?”
— Brenda Clevenger, ABC, co-founder of CornerBarPR

“There’s too much time spent trying to bamboozle us with flowery marketing-babble instead of cutting to the chase and saying just why this should be important to readers.”
— Charles Cooper of Ziff Davis in a Softletter survey of media about the quality of PR writing

“Frankly, I consider ‘PR quality’ an oxymoron.”
— Christa Degnan of PC Week, in a Softletter survey of media about the quality of PR writing

“The fastest PR person wins. If I need a comment from an industry professional I may call two or three places. The first one to get back to me is most likely to appear in print.”
— Ruth Fantasia, food and home editor for the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., quoted in Bennett & Company’s 16th annual media survey

“If you can’t express what you want and why it’s newsworthy in 10 seconds, you’re off the phone.”
— A news director for a major NBC affiliate, quoted by Rick Frishman, president of Planned Television Arts

“Most quotes in press releases sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown cartoons: ‘Wah wah wah wah.'”
— A frustrated PR pro

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

“If I only had two dollars left I would spend one dollar on PR.”
— Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

“I tend to disregard immediately any PR pitches for Internet and e-biz stuff that include the words ‘first,’ ‘pioneering,’ ‘leading’ and ‘largest’ associated with the word ‘company.'”
— Bruno Giussani, The New York Times, interviewed by

“BS is always BS.”
— Antone Gonsalves, journalist for Ziff-Davis

“The best advice I can give is to build relationships. I am more apt to lean on a PR person who makes me feel like the most important person in the world.”
— Fred Minnick, managing editor of Fast Casual magazine, quoted in Bennett & Company’s 16th annual media survey

“I hate having to scroll past contact information and the obligatory company description just to get to the subject of the release. Who has time to do that all day?”
— Ellen Newborne, Business Week marketing reporter

“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

“Because your name’s not Barack Obama, that’s why.”
— the reason you’re not putting your VP’s name in the headline of a press release, with apologies to Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out

“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?!

“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

“One of the top two abilities lacking in entry-level PR pros: strong writing skills.”
— WorkInPR survey

Quotes on PR writing

“Only two things will survive global warming: cockroaches and boilerplates.”
— Ann Wylie, writing coach, Wylie Communications

Quotes on PR writing

“Reading your release on an iPhone is like reading War and Peace through a keyhole.”
— Ann Wylie, writing coach, Wylie Communications

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