Former industry magazine editor and public relations expert, Marian Macdonald of WriteRelease , says many press releases are never published simply because they contain too many pronouns.
“Lots of companies make the mistake of lifting material directly from brochures and web sites for media releases,” Marian Macdonald says. “Of course, they sound like advertisements and editors need to rework that material for publication, so often just scrap it.”
WriteRelease, which specialises in writing and sending business-to-business media releases, also produces its own press release tips that are then rewritten to become media releases.
“When I write a PR tip for WriteRelease’s web site, I also turn it into a media release by adopting a different style,” Marian Macdonald says. “Every statement that might be an opinion is attributed to a WriteRelease staffer and we avoid using pronouns unless they’re part of a quote.”
For example, one of WriteRelease’s journalists wrote this introduction for a tip published on its website:
The perfect word count for a media release is easy: whatever the editor asks for. But when you plan to send your news release to a range of industry publications, there are some rules of thumb to follow.
The same sentence was rewritten this way for a press release:
The perfect word count for a media release is easy, “whatever the editor asks for” says Marian Macdonald of news release service, WriteRelease. But when the news release is targeting a range of industry publications, she recommends following some rules of thumb.
Marian Macdonald says using company names rather than “we” or “our” has marketing benefits too.
“Naming your company in published articles helps with search engine optimisation (SEO) and brand-building – all at no extra cost.”