Using a quote within your press release can give your brand credibility, personality and helps drive engagement with existing and new audiences. It could also be the difference between a story being picked up by journalists or ignored. This is one of the most important aspects of a press release, but you may be surprised to know that it’s the one most commonly forgotten.
There is a process that every business should go through in pulling together a quote for your release.
In the latest in our 12 step guide to ‘crafting the perfect press release’, we’ve condensed the process into 5 easily digestible actions.
1. Choose the right person: Make sure you choose an individual who can best relay your message and add credibility to your news. Usually this would be a representative from the organisations involved, maybe a CEO, MD or department head dependent on the subject of the release.
ACTION: Think about who will be the best spokesperson for you and your brand and approach them to provide a quote.
2. Give a good brief: What do you want to say and to who? Give those involved guidance on your overall message so the person is clear on what they should include and actively avoid.
For example, it may be that you’ve completed a purchase of another business so you can expand. You may not want to disclose the monies involved, so you need to make sure the person or people providing quotes are aware not to mention it.
ACTION: Write down a list of key messages and target publications before you approach anyone to provide a quote so you’re clear in your mind about what you want to say before you brief others.
3. Ask for editing permission: Before proceeding with the release, try and get editing permissions so you can alter any information given. This will make the process easier for you if the quote you receive is not quite right or contains the incorrect spelling, messaging or terminology.
ACTION: Talk about editing permissions from the outset so all parties are aware that quotes may be subject to change. If you do amend what you receive, make sure you send it back to the individual for approval before you distribute the release.
4. Write it yourself (if you can): If you get the opportunity, draft the quote on behalf of the individual. Not only will this make the process easier for the person giving the quote in terms of giving them less to do, this will also give you some control over what is being said and will make the sign off process a lot easier! The only word of caution I would advise is that you take the time not to lose the voice of the individual. Make sure you take the time to understand their views before you draft anything so you can include their opinions.
ACTION: Offer in the beginning of the process to draft the quote on behalf of all parties. Make it sound like you’re doing them a favour and saving them time. This will make them more likely to say yes.
5. Use a conversational tone: This is the best way engage journalists and their readers. They want to hear from real people and companies with a personality so avoid using industry jargon and acronyms unless you’re targeting specific trade press. Also, make sure the people you choose to provide quotes are personable and approachable from a press point of view.
ACTION: Make sure the tone of your quotes reflect that of your overall brand. Don’t suddenly change your voice as this will confuse those that already know you.
By Kathryn Dishman, Managing Director, KD Communications.
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