“And you can quote me”

“And you can quote me”

Crafting a quality quote, whether for inclusion in a press release or at the request of a reporter writing an article, can be daunting. To make sure that your quote attracts the attention it deserves, here are a few simple tips.

To start, ask yourself a simple question — if you could shout something from the rooftops, what would it be? A strong stand is far more newsworthy — and more likely to be printed — than an equivocal statement. So get up on your soapbox!

But choose your words wisely. First, think about what makes your take unique. If you’re preparing a comment for a big news story, for instance, don’t just parrot what everyone else is saying. Reporters and readers are looking for fresh voices. Your contribution has a better chance of making it into a published article if it stands out from the rest.

Second, eliminate unnecessary jargon. You’ll want your quote to be accessible to all readers — not just those fluent in the alphabet soup of government agencies, for example.

Second, dial back the buzzwords. It may be tempting to call on Congress to “advance innovative policy solutions,” for instance.

But in so doing, you’ve wasted an opportunity to tell reporters and the public what you actually want to see happen. Passage of a particular bill? Enforcement of some regulation?

One reader’s innovative solution may be another’s supremely bad idea.

Third, be concise. You may only have a sentence or two to make your case. So skip the preamble and cut straight to your point.

Finally, be specific. If you have evidence to substantiate your point, offer it. Be clear about what you believe, and why you believe it.

Robby Schrum