August 6 2014

“The BEST EVER” is simply not true

Avoiding jargon and using proper style in your press releases

A few months ago, I was at an early morning market and saw a sign advertising “The best coffee” at that market. In need of a caffeine boost, I bought into the coffee claim and went there instead of one of the other coffee stands, hoping that such a bold claim was at least relatively true. Let’s just say that it wasn’t even good coffee, let alone the best at the market.

“Best ever” claims generally don’t do a lot to build confidence in your product. Everyone knows that you couldn’t possibly suspend your own bias to make that judgment and the exaggeration tends to make people skeptical. Thankfully, most businesses don’t jump straight to “best ever”, but it’s not uncommon to hear “best yet” or even “quickest”, “revolutionary”, or “highly anticipated”.

We have all heard, and been left sorely disappointed by, too many claims like this to put much stock into them anymore.

Thankfully, if you believe there is value in what you do, you don’t need to fluff up the truth about your company in order to sell your product, or yourself. You just need to communicate the truth well. A well-written and well-informed press release will do more for you than any claim that you offer the “best” in the business.

Note: If you do happen to be the first/largest/most profitable in your area, by all means use these superlatives in your press releases – as long as you have, and show, the facts to support the claims. Avoid subjective statements like “best” and stick to anything with concrete evidence.

Win them with words

When submitting a press release to a media outlet, keep in mind that journalists are not looking for advertisements for your company; they are used to seeing news releases following certain journalistic guidelines.

Press releases aren’t meant to be only full of good words. They should be well written in all ways. Following AP/CP style in your press release shows that you understand the media and the journalists you’re contacting will appreciate that you follow the press style guidelines.

To keep yourself organized and to keep your contact’s attention, try using the Writing Pyramid: The “5 W’s” at the top of your release (who, what, where, when, and why), the important details next, and then finally general information about yourself and your company last. This format makes sure your reader can find the key facts quickly, without having to read to the bottom before knowing who and what you’re all about.

We know that you take your business seriously and we take press releases seriously. Using the right style and language in your releases is important, as it projects the professional image you want others to see in your company and ensures that your reader can quickly know who you are and what it is that you do so well.

If you haven’t heard, we are experts at making sense of the PR business for you. If you need help figuring out how to get started, or where to go from here, contact us and we’d be happy to help.