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Stop Shout!ng


(Photo – Flickr Creative Commons: mpov)

Hi readers! Read this! It’s about exclamation marks! Specifically, how many of them you should use when you’re writing news!

That was fun. But I already used four too many. Reading it again makes me feel nauseous. It’s like eating four exclamation point-shaped chocolate bars. And, worse, I feel distinctly unexcited.

So what’s the perfect number of exclamations to use in your online comms? After all, you’re excited about your story. You want readers to pay attention and get excited too.

Me – I’m saying ‘none’. Exclamation points don’t make readers excited. They make you sound like you’re shouting. That’s not a strong look while you’re trying to tell a convincing story.

At most, use one – preferably in the quote that you include to add color to your story.

And if the person in your quote is actually shouting for real, that’s great.

“This product is so awesome that were I not spoken for, I would propose to it on one knee, wed it, then honeymoon it in Cancun!” howled our CEO, hopping from foot to foot with glee.

See? That’s a nice, exciting picture.

Exclamation points are a cheap writing trick. We know you’re excited about your news (hey – we’re excited for you). Now spread that excitement with your content. Hit readers with a catchy headline that screams ‘you NEED to read this”. Write punchy body copy, and most of all, include convincing, engaging facts and benefits that make readers understand why you’re excited, not just that you’re excited. That’s how to get your news shared, and how to get readers to click that link to your website.

Plus, it’s rude to shout at the Internet.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, with one exclamation point or less.

If  you enjoyed this post, you might also like: To be sexy, or not to be sexy in PR, marketing and advertising?

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