Even Harry Potter’s people can write a news release with redundancies, unnecessary words and with flabby sentences.
In this press release, there are some textbook examples of basic mistakes, both in copy and emphasis, not to mention capitalization and headline style. The lead was reduced from 142 word to 109, around 23 per cent.
Word repetitions are easy to catch: don’t repeat the same word in the same sentence or in an adjacent phrase. Even avoid repeating a word elsewhere in a news release.
t always astonishes me that PR departments and agencies pay top dollar to release news electronically and make such basic mistakes. Here are a few from recent news releases.
In this story, from the world’s premier news release distributor, with basic attention to simple Better PR Writer techniques, more than 20 per cent of the copy can be removed from the headline, lead and second paragraph.
This PR Tools news release demonstrates that by locating ‘Of Is and By,’ the key target words described in How to Be a Better Online Writer Overnight, the lead can be compressed significantly, reducing the word count from 75 to 65 words.
In a few short steps, this PR Tools news release benefited from easy and basic Better Writer edits and reconsidered emphasis.
When 57 words can be reduced to 43, nearly 25 per cent – and mean the same thing – then there is clearly something careless about the original. As it’s also about job losses and other crucial information, then it’s particularly heedless to bury the news.
In this news release, definitely for a good cause, there are several instructive writing tips that shorten the headline and lead, but also add clarity.
My exploration into the U.S. PR Newswire has proved to be very fruitful. Its news releases display many examples begging for changes and editing, and this one from DroneDek is a doozy.