The PR Writer, and newswire scourage, is back at it again, after some absence critiquing misguided PR copy.
n the PR Writer’s last PR Tools post, I called out the OMA’s writing for excessive use of ‘you’ in the copy. Some have asked, why is it important to edit out? Two reasons:
Addressing readers is irrelevant as they know they are reading something from the writer.
‘You’ and ‘yours’ are extraneous words that can almost always edited out, saving on copy. There are better ways to express content.
I am continually amazed at how first rate organizations like the Ontario Medical Association pay good money to newswires to distribute such flawed news releases. The copy below commits numerous fundamental errors, including word repeats that can easily be avoided. Here’s how:
In this second PR Tools installment from PR newswires, this U.S. story demonstrates even more ineptitude and carelessness than Canadian counterparts. The headline is a mistake-riddled doozy.
Even Harry Potter’s people can write a news release with redundancies, unnecessary words and with flabby sentences.
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.
Once again, a paid news release, the essential PR Tool, is issued, and ignores the most essential news development, preferring to describe its achievements before getting to the reason for sending the release over PR newswires.
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.
Brevity is the soul of wit is the first line of the first review