In this edition of PR Tools, once again, you need not look long and hard to find press releases crying out for basic edits and reduced word counts. Easy-to-correct mistakes abound in these two news releases, one from Canada’s newswire.ca today and the other from prnewswire.com in the U.S. in the next post. Let’s take a look:
Customers Can Now Get Same-Day, On-Demand Delivery of Pet Essentials from PetSmart, Powered by DoorDash Drive (16 words)
The unnecessary words here are ‘now’ and ‘on demand delivery of pet essentials from PetSmart and ‘powered by.’ Get rid of those and reduce the headline to 10 words from 16:
Customers Get Same-Day, On-Demand PetSmart Essentials Delivery via DoorDash Drive (10 words)
Better PR Writer commentary
- Can now get/can get – they really are the same, as ‘can get it’ implies ‘now,’ too.
- On-Demand Delivery of Pet Essentials from PetSmart/On-Demand PetSmart Essentials Delivery
Avoiding word repeats is always effective so to repeat ‘pet essentials from PetSmart’ is pretty lazy when ‘PetSmart Essentials’ recognizes that the products are about pets in the first place.
Powered by DoorDash Drive/ via DoorDash Drive
As readers of How to be a better online writer overnight know, one of the three key words is ‘by,’ and eliminating passive voices is essential. ‘Powered by’ is a marketing cliché and has no place in a headline. ‘Via’ eliminates two words and a passive voice and works much better.
It’s just full of careless errors.
BURLINGTON, ON, Oct. 15, 2020 /CNW/ — PetSmart, the leading pet specialty retailer in Canada, is making it even easier and faster for your best fur-friend to get their favorite items. Starting October 15th, 2020, PetSmart Canada will offer on-demand, same-day delivery service powered exclusively through DoorDash, the leading last-mile logistics platform in the United States. (49 words)
Better PR Writer Edit – a 31.6 per cent word reduction
BURLINGTON, ON, Oct. 15, 2020 /CNW/ — PetSmart, Canada’s leading pet specialty retailer, makes it easier and faster for your best fur-friends to get their favorite items, offering on-demand, same-day delivery service exclusively through DoorDash, the leading last-mile U.S. logistics platform. (34 words)
‘Starting October 15th, 2020′ contains two notable errors. Dates, according to CP and AP style, are ‘cardinal numbers,’ or a number that says how many of something. So it’s October 15. An ordinal number, or a position on a list, is rendered 15th, 2nd etc. (despite how this might appear in spoken language, where we often say it’ll be on October 15th).
In addition, a rule to remember about using the year ‘2020’ is that if it concerns the present year, leave it out. Last year or next year, use the number. Correcting the date and the year allows the sentences to be combined while eliminating repeating ‘PetSmart’: ‘to get their favorite items, offering on-demand, same-day delivery service.’ As in the headline ‘now’ is also eliminated as ‘can get’ implies the present and now is therefore not necessary.
Editors almost always eliminate overly commercial copy so why put it there in the first place? In A., there is a good example of this. DoorDash is well known enough to just be described by itself but let’s say there are other reasons, such as client demands, for the bumpf below. Abide by the location advice to eliminate ‘in’ or ‘on’ in How to be a better online writer overnight and abbreviate United States to U.S. and move it before logistics.
- Exclusively through DoorDash, the leading last-mile logistics platform in the United States
- Exclusively through DoorDash, the leading last-mile U.S. logistics platform.
Glad to help you with these edits anytime, so go to the PR Writer to contact me.