It’s not just reducing the lead from 104 to 85 words, it’s understanding what’s news!

#legalizeprivateretail #humberpr

For some reason, the cannabis industry might not be holding up good writing standards; hope it’s not for the reasons we might think.  Previously, this blog looked at  Canopy Growth, and how to make its lead clearer. Now comes @legalizeprivateretail.ca and the comments cover understanding what’s news, while also reducing the word count. The group commissioning a study is not news. When it occurred isn’t either, nor is why it was done. The headline is also a mess.

Original

Most Albertans Favour Private Cannabis Retail According to Legalize Private Retail’s Public Opinion Research

CALGARY, Nov. 22, 2017 /CNW/ – Legalize Private Retail commissioned a public opinion research survey between November 10 and 15, 2017, to determine the level of support for private cannabis retail in Alberta. Key findings show that a majority of Albertans support private cannabis retail, confirming that the Government of Alberta made the right decision in adopting a private retail model for Alberta.

The research shows that initial support for private cannabis retail is 46%, but when Albertans are made aware of the level of government regulation and oversight that will exist in a private system, and the cost-savings from government not owning and operating stores, support increases to 59%. (104 words)

PR Writer/Of Is and By edit

Most Albertans (59 per cent) Favour Private Cannabis Retail, Study Finds

A majority of Albertans (59 per cent) support keeping cannabis sales in private hands, according to Legalize Private Retail’s just released research. The results confirm and support Alberta’s decision to adopt private retail when recreational cannabis becomes legally available. The Legalize group stated its study showed that initial support for private sales was 46 per cent, which rose to 59 per cent when respondents understood the cost-savings from government not owning and operating stores as well as regulatory oversight existing in a private system. 84 words, 20 per cent reduction.

Original headline:

Most Albertans Favour Private Cannabis Retail According to Legalize Private Retail’s Public Opinion Research

New headline:

According to Legalize Private Retail’s Public Opinion Research Just not necessary to say who did the study; a subhead would be better. (headline)

The lead comments

  1. Legalize Private Retail commissioned a public opinion research survey No two ways about it; everyone commissions a survey. It just isn’t news.
  2. To determine the level of support A basic rule would be not to say why you did it in the lead; that can be explained much later. The news is: the results. Get to them right away.
  3. Government of Alberta  An Of Is and By pet peeve: the government would call itself that but what is Alberta but a government, so leave it just as ‘Alberta.’ It saves two words.
  4. A private retail/ private cannabis retail With the name of the organization Legalize Private Retail, there has to be other ways of not repeating this over and over. Try synonyms. They work.
  5. Support increases to 59% This is the very latest point in the original lead. It’s the news. Note how the revision moves it up to the first sentence and the headline. And CP Style is 59 per cent not 59 %.

If you’d like some help with your copy, news releases or websites, give us a shout. We’d love to help. Or if you’d like a presentation to your staff on how to be better writers, we can help make them better writers—overnight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: rotmanprwriter

PRWriter, Copy Doctor, Humber College PR and writing Prof

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