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Before sending your pitch, check for these phrases

By Lisa Goldsberry

30969873_s-1PR explains the top 6 phrases you should never put in a press release or pitch

You want to attract media attention, so you create a dynamite press release announcing your company’s brand new initiative or event. However, you may be sabotaging your great news by using old, tired phrases in your press release and turning off reporters.

Writing press releases is like a balancing act. You must provide enough information to pique a reporter’s interest without divulging too much. It has to have all the pertinent details without being too lengthy. In addition, certain overused phrases can be annoying to reporters and make them stop reading. Experienced PR pros can show you how to avoid this and craft press releases that get results.

1. “Our company is delighted (thrilled, excited, etc)…”

Since you’re issuing a press release about it, the fact that you’re happy is understood. You only have a few seconds to gain the reporter’s interest, so don’t waste time stating the obvious.

2. “Our company, a leading provider of…”

It’s great to tout your company’s position in the industry or pat yourself on the back, but the beginning of a press release is not the place to do it. Not only that, but the reporter probably isn’t going to be interested. It’s likely that this information is on your website, so you can just provide a link to that for the reporter to find additional details about your company.

3. “The parties involved in this matter…” (or anything that sounds like it comes from a lawyer)

Write press releases and pitches in a relaxed, easy-to-read style. If the information is proprietary or privileged, it’s fine to have your attorneys review it first – but they shouldn’t have final say over the actual language used.

4. “The enormity of this prestigious occurrence…” (and all forms of hype)

Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. If your announcement is newsworthy, the facts alone will prove it. Using hype and flowery language to try to build excitement doesn’t work and often backfires by irritating the reader.

5. “Our company’s SWOT analysis shows a fragmentation (and other jargon)…”

Things like acronyms, buzzwords and unknown product names also fall into this category. This kind of information is often irrelevant to reporters and everyone else outside your company. If your press release concerns something technical or specific to your industry, you must be able to explain it to people outside your industry and tell them why they should care.

6. “Our company CEO said (anything that sounds like corporate-speak)…”

Of course, most of the time, you are required to include a quote from the CEO or vice president, but you should make it good. This isn’t the place to cram in all the other mistakes listed above. You can create a great quote that will allow you to express an opinion, offer a terrific analogy or include anything else that needs to be said but doesn’t necessarily fit in with the rest of the press release. Additionally, you may have better success if you include a quote from someone unexpected, such as the end-user of your service or the lead designer of your new product.

Why you should turn to PR

The right PR firm can help you build relationships with news media and understand how to give reporters what they want. At Axia, we create press releases that can earn you positive news coverage, which leads to increased visibility and profits for your company. Contact us today or download our e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media for more information about how we can help you grow your business.

Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.

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Topics: public relations, news release

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