Quotes on PR writing

What writers and others say

Quotes on PR writing

“Everything you say or do is public relations.”
— Anonymous

“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

“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”
— Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group

“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.’”
— BuzzWhack

“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

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

“Wooing the press is an exercise roughly akin to picnicking with a tiger. You might enjoy the meal, but the tiger always eats last.”
— Maureen Dowd, columnist for The New York Times and best-selling author

“It is generally much more shameful to lose a good reputation than never to have acquired it.”
— Pliny the Elder, roman author

“The history of PR is… a history of a battle for what is reality and how people will see and understand reality.”
— Stuart Ewen, author

“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

“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 Softletter.com

“Building a brand through effective storytelling is at the heart of what PR professionals do.”
— Brian Greene, writer & editor, PR News Online

“Public-relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms.”
— Alan Harrington, novelist

“There’s a huge opportunity for communicators who are brave enough to deviate from the status quo and try new things.”
— Lou Hoffman, CEO of the Hoffman Agency

“Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.”
— Charles Evans Hughes, former U.S. chief justice

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
— Rudyard Kipling, author

“Before the rise of social media, public relations were about trying to manage the message an entity was sharing with its different audiences. Now, P.R. has to be more about facilitating the ongoing conversation in an always-on world.”
— Adam Lavelle, chief strategic officer at the iCrossing unit of Hearst

“PR is not advertising. Your pitch should be about the reporter and her publication’s needs, not your own.”
— Sean Lenehan, account supervisor, Antenna Group

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”
— Malcolm X

“PR is increasingly content and good writing.”
— Elinor Mills, vice president at The Bateman Group

“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

“The press release has to change because it is not how we communicate today.”
— Maggie O’Neill, partner at Peppercomm

“It’s PR that needs to be creative. It’s PR that needs to be new and different. It’s PR that needs to be original.”
— Al & Laura Ries, marketing consultants

“To get something from nothing, you need the validity that only third-party endorsements can bring.”
— Al & Laura Ries, marketing consultants

“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.”
— John D. Rockefeller, American business magnate

“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?!

“In a world where the ordinary consumer is walking around with global publishing power in his or her pocket, the role of public relations and corporate communications has shifted from creating content to attempting to influence the content that’s created by others.”
— Dan Tisch, chairman of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management

“The broad thoughtlessness of many press releases are sort of astonishing. The classic of the genre is putting ‘Timely Business Story’ in the headline. But there are also releases that seem tailored to speak to everybody and appeal to nobody. ‘Pitch: Better Jobs in America’ would be that sort of subject line.”
— Derek Thompson, senior editor, The Atlantic

“PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering — it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.”
— Ronn Torossian, CEO & founder, 5W Public Relations

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

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

“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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