Writing and editing press releases is something I do every day. There is a pretty simple formula that successful press releases follow; open strong, get your main points across, add in two to three relevant quotes (if you are unfamiliar, please read guest blogger journo Matt Dean’s article on how to make press releases count here) conclude with a teaser for more information.
Even though it is a simple formula, and you want to make it as easy as possible for the intended audience to read, there is no reason to be lazy with your writing.
“Sometimes saying said is just not enough” proposed Amanda Lacey, communications expert and Director of POPCOM.
If I have not made it clear, my grudge today is with the word said; “really big exciting quote” said someone boring.
There are a lot of alternatives that you can use instead of the word said that will inject life, convey meaning and give context in your writing – particularly important when you have 300 words to impress someone with your story.
By using an alternative word to ‘said’ in one word you are able to express the feeling or the context that a quote was taken. For example:
“Today was day one of our new merger.” Said, Mrs Lawyer
“Today was day one of our new merger.” Rejoiced Mrs Lawyer.
“Today was day one of our new merger.” Conceded Mrs Lawyer.
One word makes the difference between factual and cold Mrs Lawyer, to an excited and empowered Mrs Lawyer and a scared, intimidated and fearful Mrs Lawyer.
Switching out the word ‘said’ has injected life and feeling into the sentence, which will encourage your audience to read on.
Obviously, I have chosen two words that really dramatically change the context and meaning, and you must be careful to convey the truth in your quotes.
With this in mind, you must ensure you are collecting them first hand or are confident about the context in which they were received.
If you are looking for more inspiration on what word you can use instead of said, I often visit this article on the Owlcation website. It is full of useful tips and better words. As always, if I can help you tell a better story, please reach out.