Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why Announce?: Here's something that has puzzled me for a while, but I never got around to asking. Why do press releases begin: "XYZ agency today announced that it has hired John Smith..." rather than "XYZ agency has hired John Smith..."?

Obviously, I'm in the news business, and so looking at the release I think the news is the hiring, not the announcing. So why don't PR people write it the way a news person would? Is this something that's taught in college? Is there some technical reason for what seem to be a couple of extra and unnecessary words?

4 Comments:

  • At 2:37 PM, Blogger Stuart Bruce, PR Consultant said…

    It doesn't just puzzle you, it puzzles many PR people. My rule has always been that I write a news release exactly like I would expect it to appear in the newspaper or magazine that I'm pitching. Usually we have an 'A-list' of titles we really want the client to be in so for those we'll edit every release to match the style of that publication.

    But what is even worse than "today announced" is the "XYZ company proudly announces..". Yikes, who the heck is going to print that? And that was from a release written by an account director at a top five UK PR company. And then we wonder why we are sometimes held in such low esteem.

     
  • At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Stephen Davies said…

    I always thought of it more as a style of writing used in the US rather than the UK?

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous David Henderson said…

    You raise a good question, Paul, which, I believe, is at the core of why news releases have become the most ineffective and out-moded tool of media relations today in the U.S. They are written from a self-serving and inward view of agencies and clients rather than to fulfill a need of the news media and audiences for legitimate "news." In other words, most news releases fail the "who cares?!" test and simply do not deliver "NEWS."

    What strikes me when I read news releases is the inane and copycat style of quotes: "We are thrilled by..." or "We are excited..." Why not include a quote that a journalist might consider using rather than meaningless fluff?

     
  • At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Mark McClennan said…

    Paul,

    I have always believed it was an archiac holdolver from the days when press releases were mailed to the newspapers and the receipt of the news was not as timely.

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home