Many cannabis companies and the government issued news releases on Canada Newswire today to celebrate legalization. Their writing, however, was as flabby as a hand-rolled joint. Extra words, word repeats, grammatical errors and passive voices.
I have waited my whole life for this day: Oct. 17, 2018, Canada becomes the first Western country to allow full marijuana legalization, medical and recreational.
In this PR Writer news release analysis, some essential errors in a story about #roadsidetesting are corrected, passive voices eliminated, and the headline now connects with the lead.
In the social media and mobile age, observing space limitations and compressing copy becomes more and essential. We are writing for phones and even watches, and no one wants to read excessive copy. In this example, from Cision, the company that checks social media reach and distributes news releases, the PR Writer reduced the headline, lead and supporting paragraphs from 196 to 147 words.
This news release just made me throw up my hands and wonder for the thousandth time, how is it that people pay PR newswires good money to distribute bad news releases? I didn’t apply PR Writer techniques to this one, except in a few places because simply pointing out what was substandard was criticism enough.
After they see How to be a better online writer copy edits and tracked changes, writers often ask, how do you do that? What is your thought process? That was a big challenge: how to codify something that had been largely intuitive. So here — from The PR Writer’s forthcoming book — is Chapter 4, “How to edit your own work.”
In this PR Writer commentary, the use of ‘you’ to address the reader is unnecessary and can easily be eliminated without changing news release meaning.
The new http://www.marchesedesign #branding web site, developed in collaboration with http://www.SalesHub.com, also features partners like theprwriter.com and examples of the #branding and #content projects we’ve carried out for many exciting clients.
As much as the PR Writer supports this project, the news release violates a fundamental media relations principle—the lead ignores the headline. The lead should recapitulate the headline, which it does not do until the third paragraph.
Writing pitch letters and news releases are often considered a chore but are a necessity in media relations. The pitch letter and the news release are interconnected and must reinforce each other. The pitch letter is the door opener, and the news release contains the news.