Feb 11, 2015 / by Susan Guillory

Of all the written components of a press release, the quote is second to only the headline in terms of engaging people’s attention. The quote is what humanizes the news, and provides a slice of story for the reader.

But too often, the quotes we see in press releases are dry as dust. How many times have you read the equivalent to:

We’re excited about the merger between Company X and Z Corp. We look forward to working together on new projects.


Yawn - Boring Press Release Quote

Sorry. I put myself to sleep there. As you can see, this example provides no value to the reader of your press release. Follow these best practices to create great quotes for your news releases:

What NOT to Make Your Quote About

Before we get into strategies for getting a better quote, let’s look at what you shouldn’t talk about:

  • How excited you are about your news (see example).
  • Retelling the obvious. Don’t say what the press release already says.
  • Anything that makes you sound like a robot.

How to Create a Read-Worthy Quote

Your press release quote should enhance your release, not regurgitate the same information. Think: what would you like to read as a quote? Start there, then use these tips.

  • Keep it short: one or two sentences should suffice.
  • Use conversational language, not robotspeak.
  • Avoid $10 words and industry jargon.

If you’re stuck, read other press releases to get an idea for what quotes resonate with you.

What to Do When Others Give You a Quote

Newspapers - Press Release Quotes

If you’re not the person giving the quote, you’ve got a couple of options here. The first is to guide them to exactly what you want.

Envision the type of quote that would really make your press release zing. That could be what the CFO thinks the impact of your annual charity drive will be on the bigger community. Or what benefits this new product will bring to existing customers. Ask for what you want, and you shall receive.

Your other option is to write the quote for that person. People are busy, and it’s easier to review a pre-written quote and make changes as necessary than to brainstorm on a fresh one. So you write the quote and get their approval to use it.

A juicy quote can boost readership and clicks for your press release, so dedicate enough time to get yours right!

Want to make your writing sing? Watch Ann Handley’s on-demand webinar “Writing Rules in PR” now!

Images: Quinn Dombrowski, Tambako the Jaguar, Jon S (Creative Commons)

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About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.