Posted by JournoLink in Business Tips on 30 January 2018 at 11:00
Writing a good quote for your press release can be quite tricky. Businesses make the mistake of adding a quote just “because a press release needs a quote”. But actually adding a quote that doesn’t bring anything to the story is almost as bad as not including any.
Quotes are here to add a human angle to the press release - they need to add value.
If you’re sending a release to announce a product launch, for example, a classic mistake would be a quote like ‘We’re delighted to have launched a new product’. It looks good but actually doesn’t say anything or add anything to the story.
The key word when it comes to quotes is ‘Insightful’. It should always provide some sort of insight. Don’t use your quote to say something that you could simply say in your content (what, who, where, and when). Use it to bring a personal or emotional angle to your story.
Because you might need some concrete examples I’ve put together a list of good quotes from our customers to help with your next press releases.
1. Explain the reason why
Explaining the why of your story in a quote can be really good as long as you keep it succinct. You can develop in a paragraph or two of course but you should try to keep the main idea for your quote. It will make your story look way more personal and engaging.
Look at the examples below:
"We hope that making the loan's interest-free for a month will provide that extra bit of breathing space. Quick action like this is needed to safeguard jobs and develop new business opportunities." Just Loans Group
“This is a great brand to bring under the Bigjigs Toys banner and offers us potential in all the markets we serve. The Tidlo range will bolster our core offering and further defines our footprint in retail.” Bigjigs Toys
“We could see a big ambition to grow the business, but a need for capital to facilitate it. By working with James from ABN Amro we’ve been able to make the MBO possible and together with the follow on growth finance through NPIF, there’s a positive outlook for the year ahead and it’s been a great start to the year for the company.” Business Enterprise Fund
2. Why now?
Sometimes the reason why is not that easy to explain in a quote. Another interesting angle though could be to explain why now? It’s always a big plus to add some context and some external elements to your story. It binds it to the reality and to the market. That’s what journalists are after, stories that are connected to the news and to the market. So by explaining why you’re doing what you’re doing now, you immediately bring context to your release. See the examples below:
“Storytelling renaissance is happening right now, particularly with stories embracing women empowerment. We’re talking non-digital, immediate, face to face, adult and edgy. It’s no wonder these performances will tickle your funny bone, send shivers up your spine, and then warm your heart up all over again” Instant Teamwork
“After observing the evolution of the healthcare sector, we decided that now was the right time to develop a new range of services in order to respond better to the industry needs.”
3. The problem-based quote
The ‘issue-based’ quote is one of the easiest ones to write and it works really well. What assessment is your project based on? What problem are you trying to solve? If you can talk about the sector or market you’re operating in, it will help the journalist visualise the big picture. Including statistics and reporting data can be very helpful in this kind of quote.
“We reached out to 300 of our tenant users in the UK and discovered that 98% are worried about the rising cost of living. This completely justifies paying someone's rent in December, when outgoings are probably higher than any other month.” Vaboo
“We expect Christmas to be one of the busiest times of the year because of the mad rush and hectic nature of the season. During December, picking a restaurant can be tricky when organising a pre-Christmas dinner with friends, and the KtchUp app simplifies this process .” Ktchup
“The idea came to me after seeing all the Christmas adverts for processed sugary treats for Christmas pudding and dessert. I thought why couldn’t there be healthier, more nutritious version of the trifle for people that don’t want to fall of the wagon at Christmas time and using Naturelly as a pouring jelly was perfect for this brilliantly healthy layered dessert” Naturelly
4. The emotional quote
As I said in the introduction, bringing emotion to your press release is a very important if you want to get covered. Quotes are perfect for this because they bring a human angle to your story.
Including powerful words, feelings or sharing a personal experience will help you trigger empathy from the readers. For instance, if you send a release about the GDPR, a good quote would be around this: “Over half of our time is now spent with lawyers working out how to comply - our business is near collapse”. The world ‘collapse’ will make an impression.
Here are two more examples:
"We are delighted to have won the regional finals & be highly commended in the nationals at the Wedding Industry Awards. It is a fantastic achievement to be not simply awarded but equally voted for by our happy customers. We have been successful in our category Finishing Touches for three years running now and to win at the national finals in London has left us over the moon." Venue Lighting
Handwriting gives physical form to our thoughts and emotions, it is profound how important being able to write well is to our learning journey and future trajectory in life, as strong literacy skills open the doors to a productive economic future." Start-Bee
5. The assessment-based quote
Another way to write an outstanding quote is to base it on an assessment, one you have done yourself or even a generic and obvious one. Using this method will help you reinforce the facts and legitimate your point or your story. Here are three good examples.
“The days of the old-fashioned sales meeting are over. You can no longer turn up to a meeting with your PowerPoint and your pitch, expecting 20 minutes of your prospect’s undivided attention while you list your product features one by one. These days, it’s all about the sales conversation – and that conversation is all about your customer.” iPresent
“Whether you’re the dad of a six-year-old who has just started to use the family tablet, or a 14-year-old with their own connected smartphone and console, this is an issue that affects us all. But while the internet can seem scary for children, our guide recognises that it can also be a huge force for good. Children love to go online. That’s why it is about digital resilience, not unenforceable rules or draconian censorship.” DaddiLife
“examining UK productivity growth on a rolling 10-year basis suggests that the recent UK performance has been among the weakest since official records began and may not be comparable with any period since the early-1820s” FPB
6. The figure of speech: Use an analogy or a metaphor
Using a figure of speech as a quote can be effective to catch the attention of a journalist as they will easily visualise it in an article. Actually, many of them shorten or even transform the quotes they have been given because they want them to be more catchy. An analogy or a metaphor is perfect for a journalist’s article because it helps the final reader to visualise the point. It’s almost like an illustration. Look at the great example below.
“You don’t wait till they’ve banned all cars from the roads before you let your children walk across. You teach them the skills they need to be safe, even though crossing the road is inherently risky. We hope the ebook helps to do the same for internet use.” DaddiLife
7. The inspirational quote
Likewise emotional quotes, including an inspiring one is an excellent way to arouse empathy and to humanise your story. Use words that will have an impact on your reader, talk about your achievements, your struggles, or even talk about universal themes.
“It’s important to do what makes you happy. Spend money on yourself and the things that you enjoy, whether that is spending time reaching an exercise goal, booking a holiday to look forward to, or even simply eating 5 pieces of fruit each day. These goals can all up our sense of happiness and well-being and contribute to beating the January blues” Distinctly.co
“We want to share with the Headteachers and teachers attending this event, the powerful results achieved by delivering this Handwriting Scheme, as the raising of attainment throughout our school is a testament to its Method.” Start-Bee
“I’m humbled to be awarded the plaque commemorating the fundraising raffle that I ran over Christmas. I was determined to turn what was a horrible experience into something positive and I’m really pleased that we have been able to raise so much money that will be used to benefit the rough sleepers of the region” Simon on the Streets
“It’s great that we are among a select few distilleries in the UK choosing to run solely on green energy; we hope that we can inspire more businesses to make a conscious effort to look at the impact they have on the environment.” Cooper King Distillery
8. The humoristic or punchy quote
Don’t hesitate to be a little bit punchy when writing a quote. Journalists prefer people that have an opinion to share as opposed to a risk-free statement of no interest. Sometimes introducing humour or sarcasm can make the difference. See the example below.
“Fresh, plus natural is as good as it gets for food,’ says Mark, ‘and we are setting the challenge for 2018 for those who have already broken their twice a week gym session resolutions to focus on good fresh Suffolk grown produce as a good and equally healthy alternative” Taste Collective Limited
A good quote can make the difference in a press release so focus your efforts on it! Remember that your quote should always add value to your content.To make sure it does there is a little test.
Think about what happens if you remove your quote from the press release. Does it change its significance? Because if your quote doesn’t impact your release, that means that your quote is not quite right yet. Work on it a little longer.
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Written by: Julie Cocquerelle, Marketing Executive
Julie has a degree in Marketing and PR, and has worked in marketing for a number of startup businesses, both in France and the UK. She now runs JournoLink’s marketing efforts, and works closely with our partners. When not in the office Julie enjoys travelling and soaking up European culture.