CEO Master Class: The Power of the Press Release Quote

3 min read

Sure viral TikTok videos may seem like the current “it” marketing tactic, but it’s not the most effective or trusted way to reach or influence your target audience in the life sciences industry. I recognize the press release may seem like a dated analog tactic in our digital world, but it remains one of the most effective ways to establish credibility and help you control the narrative.

Journalists are always on the lookout for a good story, and press releases remain one of their top resources for finding stories, according to Cision's State of the Media Report. The key to standing out is making sure your press release is well written and clearly defines the who, what, where, when, and—most importantly—why your news matters to the audience.

Yes, the headline matters, but one of the most opportunistic elements that is often squandered in a press release is the CEO’s quote. 

There should always be a quote from a top leader in a press release. But many of the quotes in today’s press releases have become so generic they carry no value–for the company or the journalist. More often than not the quote is just the CEO restating how “thrilled” or “proud” they are about whatever the headline says. But it's not enough today.

In 2019, Christopher S. Penn from TrustInsights sampled 30,996 unique press releases from the previous year and determined the most commonly overused terms in executives’ press release quotes were:

When you see words like these repeated from one press release to the next, it’s typically the result of either groupthink or templates. That’s not how you establish yourself as a thought leader in the life sciences industry. It’s time to stop wasting precious real estate with your quote and say something that tells your audience what you really want them to know.

The quote in the press release is the only part where your emotions and opinion are allowed to shine through. This is your statement, which carries important, thought-provoking information, so make it work to your advantage. While most CEOs don’t write their own quotes, we’re providing this cheat sheet so you can master this critical element moving forward.

How To Master the Press Release Quote

  1. Know Your Why: Explaining the “why” of your story in a quote is a good strategy as long as you keep it succinct. It also provides an opportunity for highlighting your company’s impact, mission, and vision with you leading the cause while the remainder of the release may be more fact-based.
  2. Embrace Metaphors: Using a figure of speech as a quote can be effective to catch the audience's attention and helps them to visualize the primary point you are trying to get across. It’s almost like an illustration.
  3. Make Your News Inspiring: Inspiration is an excellent way to arouse empathy and humanize your story. Use words that will have an impact on your reader. Talk about your achievements, your struggles, or even talk about universal themes.
  4. Take It PersonallyBring a human angle to your story. Every day, people are subjected to a barrage of media that leave them unimpressed and numb to its intended impact. Avoid typical industry jargon, which may be viewed as overly promotional or superficial. Writing like this won’t do you any favors with the readers’ goldfish-sized attention span. Keep it conversational in tone, refrain from unfamiliar phrases or words, and you drive home your message.
  5. Control Your MessageQuotes can be used to add a human element, an expert’s or insider’s take—your take—on the information. You can highlight important details that influence the direction of the story. The quote should demonstrate your subject-matter expertise and firsthand experience.

While this is an excellent guide to craft a compelling press release quote, this should also be used anytime you’re being interviewed by the media. A CEO’s quote is a  powerful tool to drive your company narrative and build your thought leadership. The same rules still apply, so always make your quote count! And feel free to shoot us an email if you would like our team of PR experts to review and provide actionable feedback on your next press release quote. We’d be happy to ensure you’re hitting it out of the park.

Want to kickstart your company's success through PR?

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