When writing a press release, constructing a good quote is almost as important as constructing the story itself but it’s not a simple exercise.
Journalists we have talked to said that many businesses don’t really understand the role of the quote and tend to include in it facts that could simply be in the release.
A quote can really make a difference so you need to make sure it’s good quality and gets across your story. So how do you write a good quote for your press release? Here are four things to bear in mind.
1. Personalise the story:
While in many cases a press release is there to outline your business’s latest news, your quote adds the personal reflection on the story.
How has the topic of the story impacted on the business or the people working in the business? How will the news impact on your industry or maybe the wider economy?
Facts and figures are great for a press release, and they will often spike the interest of a journalist, but so will the personal impact of a story.
For example the upcoming GDPR legislation, which comes into force in May 2018, is set to affect small businesses heavily. A quote in a press release about that may look something like this: “Over half of our time is now spent with lawyers working out how to comply- our business is near collapse”.
2. Use emotion in the right way:
Words that convey emotion are a great way to personalise a story, but it has to be done in the right way.
In the last point the word ‘collapse’ conveys emotion and brings the impact of the legislation to life. However, a quote which says something like “X company is delighted to launch Y product” adds nothing to the story.
3. Think about who is being quoted:
In lots of press releases the business owner or key people in the business will be quoted, but sometimes it’s good to provide additional sources.
If any news or data has been released recently that relates to your press release, you can make reference to it, but if you are able to quote the source you will lend even more weight to your press release.
Quotes from people of authority will provide additional credibility, especially if they make reference to your business. Looking again at your own business, a quote from a customer in the form of a testimonial also adds great credibility to your press release.
4. Be edgy:
Don’t be afraid to go against the grain with your quote.
Lots of businesses just say what they think people want to hear. If you genuinely see things differently then make sure you convey that in your press release and, importantly, in your quote.
For example on the Brexit issue, while many businesses reacted negatively to the Leave vote because they believed it would be negative to the economy, others reacted far more positively. In business nothing is clear cut, and different sectors will be affected by things in different ways.
As I have outlined, quotes are one of the most important parts of a press release, so it’s important you get them right. If you’re still struggling to work out how to construct a quote for your release, why not take a look at your target publications or journalists to see what kinds of quotes they include in their stories.
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Written by: Ben Caine, Client Manager
As a former journalist, Ben has a keen eye for news. He is passionate about small businesses, and is the main point of contact if you need help making full use of the JournoLink platform.