By: Allison Pless, TrizCom PR
I can’t speak for other editors, and this may just be a weird quirk on my part, but one of the things that I enjoy about editing is the wide variety of topics I get to read about. I also appreciate a well-written piece.
Whether you’re with a PR firm or are an individual writing your own press releases, don’t skip on editing.
That means, at the very least, having someone other than the person writing the release look it over. You can catch some obvious errors that way, such as an extra or missing word in a sentence or an incorrect word choice (for example: here, hear).
As a former editor of a community newspaper who received dozens of press releases and media alerts on a weekly basis, I quickly learned which PR agencies or individuals sent items that I wouldn’t have to spend much time on. Often times, I was primarily editing to make the information fit in the space we had.
What makes a difference to an editor? Following are my top pet peeves:
- Have your work edited. If you’re the writer, does your PR agency have someone who is responsible for checking written materials before they’re sent out or posted? This isn’t exclusive to press releases and media alerts. Don’t forget about websites and other digital media. It only takes one misspelled word, a missing word, etc., to create a potential problem.
- It’s not one and done. After an editor has reviewed your release, read it to see what edits were made. Not just for grammar and punctuation, but also wording changes. A sentence may be edited so that it reads better or makes more sense. Most importantly, it may be corrected to meet AP style guidelines. If you have standard language that is used for a particular client in everything that goes out for them, make sure you incorporate those changes into future work. Don’t keep sending an editor pieces that need the same wording changes over and over. If necessary, explain to the client why their wording was changed. Top Peeve
- Be natural. What you write needs to be easy to read and comprehend. Think approachable. It isn’t necessary to sound stiff and formal and use wording that doesn’t come naturally in everyday speech. While you want to avoid lengthy run-on sentences, paragraph after paragraph of short, choppy sentences doesn’t flow either.
- Too much information. Find the balance between including enough information to gain someone’s interest and sharing too much. As a rule, a three-page release is going to be too long. Most news is written with Joe Q Public in mind, and an overload of detail is a turnoff
An editor is tasked with making sure your written words are grammatically correct and properly punctuated, that they convey your message in a clear manner. Failing to have releases and alerts edited, and sending out sloppy work, could make the difference in whether your news is even given serious consideration. The devil is in the details.
Allison is the editor for TrizCom Public Relations
From national industry leaders and Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest companies to startups and growing enterprises, TrizCom PR provides public relations and social media services to a wide variety of businesses encompassing startup, healthcare, lifestyle brands, B2B, energy, tech, entertainment, food/beverage and beyond. TrizCom PR has a dynamic track record of local, regional, national and international media placements on behalf of its clients that, if monetized, would equal hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2014 and 2015, TrizCom PR has been named in the top 25 of PR Firms by Dallas Business Journal. TrizCom PR is a Certified Woman Owned Business Corporation (NWBOC). For more information on TrizCom PR call 972-247-1369 or visit www.TrizCom.com.