Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Blacklist of PR Phrases

Every public relations student knows mastering the art of writing press releases is crucial. From early on in our college careers, the rules of writing a press release are drilled into our heads. The piece should not be more than a page long. A quote should be given. A boilerplate should be attached. The ### symbol must be included to signify the end of the release. Breaking any of these rules may cause a journalist to do what a PR professional dreads: hit the delete button. Every PR class drills what to do when writing a press release, but what they do not teach you is what not to do. Here are a few phrases to never use when writing a press release:

 “Pleased/proud/thrilled to announce”- The journalist already knows you are pleased to announce your news, otherwise you would not be writing the press release! Do not try to over sell your news or sound overly enthusiastic. When you have limited space, do not waste it on this phrase. Instead, jump right into your content.

“Wealth of experience”- This phrase is overused when sharing news about a specific person. Sure, this person may have a lot of experience, but it doesn’t explain to the audience anything about that experience. Anyone can have a “wealth of experience.” My eight-year-old cousin has a “wealth of experience” in beating me at video games. It isn’t the experience that is important, but rather what that experience is exactly. Giving specifics builds the person’s credibility.

 “Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”- Okay, let’s be real. Is your event REALLY the only time somebody is going to be able to do this? Are you sending people to the moon? Do you have a genie granting wishes? This phrase is very overused. Unless you actually are doing these things, avoid using this cliché.

With so many style and grammatical rules, writing press releases can be intimidating. Remembering to avoid these phrases though will help making mastering the press release a little easier. For more phrases to avoid check out  

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Lauren Bentley.

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