News releases remain a useful tool for public relations programs. The value of a news release does not come from search engine optimization, clicks on your website, or direct sales that result from its publication. The real value of a news release comes from helping you tell your story told the way you want it told.

News releases help frame and shape your story – whether it is the announcement of a new product or service or the acquisition of a company or new talent. Most importantly, the words you choose, once used by others, can keep your story consistent and clear.

Consistency and repetition of your story are what make it memorable and repeatable. That’s what drives top of mind awareness. It’s why good stories are well shared.

For every story, one truism dominates. Words matter — a lot.

Choosing the right words unlocks your ability to tell your best story.

Many companies in real estate excel at crafting smart, and informative news releases that help reporters cover your news, telling your story.

But many firms struggle when it comes to quotes used in a news release. The most common mistake when creating a quote is stating the obvious.

When a quote says “We are excited” or “thrilled” (or a similar word) — those words add nothing of value. Worse, they state the obvious.

Of course, a CEO feels this way when adding a new hire. But what does it say about that person? Nothing of value or substance.

Yet, how many real estate personnel-related news releases do you see these words used in the first quote?

The failure to provide a meaningful quote in a news release is one of my biggest pet peeves. That’s because a quote that fails to inform is a waste of a significant opportunity.

For example, when Myra Jolivet joined the WAV Group, Marilyn Wilson was undoubtedly excited about Myra joining. We all were thrilled. But we didn’t say that in the quotes in the news release.

Instead, Marilyn’s quote added substance and insight and still expressed her enthusiasm, saying:

“We have known Myra since her years in Houston and have worked with her on communications projects throughout her career in working with MLSs and Realtor associations. Her positive energy, communications acumen, and brilliance as a relationship builder will dramatically boost our communications services and offerings.”

Marilyn’s quote describes the value Myra brings to our consulting firm. In the same news release, my quote does the same:

“Myra is one of the most gifted communicators in the business world, not just real estate. WAV Group is known for helping others tell their best stories and helping firms become part of our industry’s conversations. Myra does this better than anyone I know, and now more firms in our industry than ever will benefit from her extraordinary talents.”

We work very hard to help our clients do the same thing when it comes to their news releases. While we do not always win, most clients can see the value of a quote that does more than state the obvious.

Quotes in news releases should be meaningful and used to help shape your story. They also need to be written authentically – in the person’s conversational voice. If a quote sounds like something you wrote as opposed to something you said, it does not work.

The next time you review a news release, look at it with a fresh set of eyes. Ask yourself if the quote says something significant and sounds like the person who is being quoted.

If not, work on your quote until it does. You’ll find this approach can go a long way to helping you tell your best story.

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