PR Tools: Short takes on improving news release leads

Lowering word count by nearly 20 per cent and improving the meaning


VANCOUVER, Sept. 24, 2019 /CNW/ – Atomic Cartoons is pleased to announce that LA-based animation director David Gerhard has joined the studio. Known as one of the most innovative creative directors in the animation industry, Gerhard will be moving from LA to lead Atomic’s rapidly expanding Ottawa team as Studio Creative Director. In his new role, Gerhard will be overseeing teams working on projects for NBCUniversal. (60 words)

PR Writer Edit

VANCOUVER, Sept. 24, 2019 /CNW/ – Legendary animation director David Gerhard has joined Atomic Cartoons as Studio Creative Director and will be moving from LA to lead Atomic’s rapidly expanding Ottawa team. Known as one of the most innovative creative directors in the animation industry, Gerhard, in his new role, will be overseeing projects for NBCUniversal. (50 words, a 19.35 per cent decrease).


Here are some helpful PR Tools in writing and editing.

This lead was not only verbose, with 62 words being reduced to 50, but starts with the #1 PR cliché (‘is pleased to announce’…of course you are, why else would the company waste money on this news release) but then also finishing with something really boring and not newsworthy. Gerhard has joined the studio, dull, without explanation. Even the word studio is unnecessary, as by naming the company, studio is implied, unless it’s part of the name. If he is legendary and innovative, then say so! 

Note how LA (which should be L.A.) is used twice, as is ‘teams.’ Word repeats are always a sign that more editing is needed. Gerhard’s moving from LA is the news and ‘LA-based’ is superfluous if the moving to Ottawa thought is expressed. Secondly, ‘rapidly expanding Ottawa team’ is an acceptable first usage but saying the creative director will ‘oversee teams’ is unnecessary. If he is ‘overseeing projects,’ then that implies a team is involved. 

Conclusion: watch clichés, pay attention to the news, avoid word repeats

#humberpr #betterwriter #prtools #copy

Author: rotmanprwriter

PRWriter, Copy Doctor, Humber College PR and writing Prof

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