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THE ELEMENTS OF PRESS RELEASE STYLE by Gary Klein

Like the unpredictability of this turning-on-its head ("BETTER"!) take on the epidemic of Ten-lists, from McSweeney's >>

1. Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is precise. A press release should contain no unnecessary words, for the same reason a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

BAD
"The company regrets its role in this major environmental catastrophe, and we are fully committed to making the community whole."

BETTER
"This environmental catastrophe is regrettable."

[My favourite >>>]

8. Avoid fancy words.

Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able. Anglo-Saxon is a livelier tongue than Latin, so use Anglo-Saxon words. In this, as in so many matters pertaining to style, one's ear must be one's guide.

BAD
"We are carefully monitoring the FDA's response to widespread Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes contamination in our products, and are deeply troubled by reports of acute gastrointestinal hemorrhaging."

BETTER
"We stand by our line of organic, free-trade products."

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