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PR Tips | The wrong way to shorten a quotation

Especially when it comes to writing op-eds, incorporating quotations from experts can be a great way to bolster your arguments. Unfortunately, an 800-word op-ed doesn't leave much room for lengthy block quotations. So writers often shorten quotes by using ellipses. However, if you find yourself doing this, be extremely careful. When you chop up a quote, it's easy to alter the meaning completely. This can be an honest mistake or, worse, a purposeful manipulation. To see how someone’s words can be misrepresented by an artfully placed ellipsis, look no further than a recent Amazon letter released online at ReadersUnited.com. The letter makes the argument that today's book publishers are attacking Amazon's eBooks in the same way that the literary community opposed the introduction of paperbacks, which were much cheaper than the alternative hardcovers at the time.

PR Tips | If the biggest papers say no, don’t quit your pitchin’!

Every writer would like to see his or her op-ed published in The Washington Post or The New York Times. But you never know if you're pitching your piece on the same day that Bill Clinton is submitting one as well. It's tough to beat out a former president -- much less the scores of other writers vying for scarce editorial-page real estate. So where do you go if the Post and the Times say no? You could simply pitch by circulation -- the bigger the better. But to maximize the impact of your op-ed, a more strategic approach may be in order.

Virginia’s Finest

As regular readers know, I moonlight as a wine blogger. When not cranking away at Keybridge, I’m running the wine blog Terroirist.com. Last month, I visited northern Virginia wine country to chat...

PR Tips | How to get your op-ed in the New York Times

"How can I get my op-ed in the New York Times?" That's one of the most frequent questions I'm asked. And for good reason. The publication boasts a circulation of 1.25 million, making it one of the top papers in the United States. While it's nearly impossible to guarantee placement in any publication, there are some important guidelines aspiring op-ed writers should follow if they want to increase their chances of getting published in a top outlet. In fact, I recently came across a piece in the New York Times in which Trish Hall, editor of the paper's Op-Ed and Sunday Review sections, offers a few important tips to writers. Below is what I've found to be some of her most helpful points. So if you've ever wondered how to increase your chances of catching an editor's eye, keep reading …