8 More Terms to Remove From Your Press Releases
April 17, 2013
Press releases are among other things, great promotional tools, but they’re only as effective as the words used within them. Press release writers often get into the habit of, well, writing things out of habit. But ultimately, what do these words and phrases add to our work? If you can’t come up with a reasonable response, break out the red pen!
With that in mind, here are some commonly used phrases that a modern press release can do without:
1. We are Pleased/proud/thrilled/excited to announce
We already know you’re pleased to make this announcement, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be announcing it! Rather than use this general go-to introduction, go straight into the meat of what you have to say. It’s fine to say you’re announcing something, but the overly happy modifiers are unnecessary.
2. When asked for his/her input/thoughts
There is no need to say anyone asked for this person’s input. It’s implied when we see a quoted statement. Just write out the quote and attribute it with a simple “he said,” or “said John Smith, company founder” type of phrasing.
This kind of language is ad-speak. It tells us nothing about your company or announcement. Not only that, it’s probably not accurate. Who designated your company or offering as the “best?” Unless you have concrete proof to back it up, leave it out unless you are promoting a Kennel Club show!.
4. Wealth of experience
This phrase is present in just about every personnel announcement. Does it give us any indication of the person’s actual experience? Listing his/her qualifications is necessary to understanding how it prepared this person for the role at hand. Once you’ve listed those details, “wealth of experience” becomes superfluous.
5. For the first time ever/Unique
The main problem with this phrase is that it’s often not true. We’ve come across many products that claim to be the first, only to find that there are others out there already. A quick Google search is all it takes to debunk your claim. Same with Unique – something either is unique or it isn’t so use it appropriately.
6. This event boasts an impressive lineup
If the lineup is truly impressive, there’s no need to boast. Introduce the speakers and give a brief bio. Your target audience will easily recognize big-name participants. There is nothing wrong in promoting speakers individually but do it properly – through your writing.
7. Just in time for
Yes, your press releases should be newsworthy. In theory, having a launch coincide with a major event or holiday doubles the newsworthiness, but this particular phrase sounds eerily like the dreaded ad-speak. Instead, write, “To celebrate,” “In honor of,” or other similar, less pitchy phrases. The reader can most likely read a calendar.
8. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
This phrase is overused, especially in the travel sector. Is this really the only chance someone will have to get half-price massages at a 3-star hotel? It’s one thing if the trip involves a one-way ticket to another planet. Yes, that will only happen once in a lifetime. As a rule, everything else could be repeated at some point.
If you want your press release to stand out, avoid clichés and overused phrases. Write clearly and simply. Though old habits are hard to break, with practice you’ll be able to identify the weak points in your writing.