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Many cannabis companies and the government issued news releases on Canada Newswire today to celebrate legalization. Their writing, however, was as flabby as a hand-rolled joint. Extra words, word repeats, grammatical errors and passive voices.
I have waited my whole life for this day: Oct. 17, 2018, Canada becomes the first Western country to allow full marijuana legalization, medical and recreational.
In this PR Writer news release analysis, some essential errors in a story about #roadsidetesting are corrected, passive voices eliminated, and the headline now connects with the lead.
In this PR Writer commentary, the use of ‘you’ to address the reader is unnecessary and can easily be eliminated without changing news release meaning.
As much as the PR Writer supports this project, the news release violates a fundamental media relations principle—the lead ignores the headline. The lead should recapitulate the headline, which it does not do until the third paragraph.
Writing pitch letters and news releases are often considered a chore but are a necessity in media relations. The pitch letter and the news release are interconnected and must reinforce each other. The pitch letter is the door opener, and the news release contains the news.
In media relations, ask yourself over and over what is the news, and the chances that a news release will be used increases greatly.
In media relations, reporters are like the person next to you in the lively bar. Inundated with news releases, they develop an exquisite sensibility for the caller’s credibility and can tell instantly if a pitch letter
The news media landscape has changed greatly and here is the other side of preparing for media interviews. The situation isn’t as bad as worried communicators may think.