Write Killer Bites

Turn lame-ass quotes into scintillating sound bites

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Categories: Media Relations, Social Media, Techniques & Tactics, Writing

Half of reporters complain that quotes in releases don’t sound natural, according to a 2014 Greentarget survey. Maybe that’s why 78% of them don’t regularly use quotes from releases.

No wonder! As one of my clients says, “Quotes in news releases sound like the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon: ‘Wah wah wah wah.’”

So how can you get the wah-wah out and instead write quotes that reporters will actually use?

In this session, you’ll learn how to transform your quotations from bleh to brilliant.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

·         Write tight bites. Even a lame quote will sound better when you use our quote length targets.

·         Put a quota on quotes. Steal a trick from The New York Times to avoid overquoting.

·         Write quotes that sound human — not like a computer spit them out.

·         Avoid the worst PR clichés. PR Newswire sees 1,284 of these in a single month.

·         Steal techniques from Silver Anvil winners. Make your sound bites sound better.


Ann Wylie, president, Wylie Communications

Photo of Ann Wylie

Wylie works with communicators who want to reach more readers, and with organizations that want to get the word out. Her workshops take her from Hollywood to Helsinki, and to organizations like NASA, Nike and Nokia. More than 14,000 communicators worldwide subscribe to her e-zine, Wylie’s Writing Tips. She has earned more than 60 awards, including two IABC Gold Quills, for her work.



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