Why (Good) Quotes are Your Content’s Missing Piece

Space depicting a missing puzzle piece

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

What makes good content often has the same parameters across multiple audience channels. Whether it’s a brand engaging its loyal audience via Facebook or YouTube, or a local news outlet pushing a story it knows will pique readers’ interest, good content is:

  • Engaging (includes good imagery, a short video)
  • Easily digestible (short paragraphs, utilizes an info-bite)
  • Helpful and/or relevant to the target audience

In Cision’s latest State of the Media Report, there were many interesting takeaways, but the one we’ll focus on today is the need for a good executive quote and its undervalued impact on earned coverage and good audience engagement.

An executive quote isn’t just a brand’s hopeful soundbite. It’s a chance to provide credibility and expertise that news media’s audience will trust; and lend your story additional relevancy. A good quote will elevate the content and mark it as newsworthy.

A good example is from this May 7 Dotdash Meredith press release. CEO Neil Vogel’s quotes were broken into three parts – each able to stand alone if any media wanted to take just a snippet. Reuters did just that, using the first part, which came in at 24 words. The portion Reuters used is concise and highly relevant, delivering a reader a strong opinion on the AI/publisher rights issue.

Another Good Example

Nestlé USA’s Tom Moe had a nice, quick quote about a current health trend in this May 21 press release. The story received a lot of coverage, including from CBS News, which included that quote in the story – giving its audience a brand voice that potentially speaks to their personal health journey.

What to Avoid?

So many quotes fail by either delivering the audience generic superlatives like “groundbreaking opportunity” without context or rattling on beyond what one would consider concise – I’ve seen some run 5+ sentences long – where any potential key message was lost in the wall of text.  A good quote, similar to a good headline, needs to answer for the audience “Why does this news matter?

The takeaway here? Don’t blindly copy and paste an entire quote for your story just to check off the “executive quote” box. Get to the meat of the statement and provide your readers with the most important information. And if a press release is lacking quotes, it may be time to reach out and ask for one. The good news is all press releases on PR Newswire for Journalists include media contact information to help you fill in the blanks.

Provide Options

Another good best practice when positioning your content as newsworthy is to not just depend on an executive quote but to also utilize good partner and/or subject matter expert quotes. Google Cloud does this consistently, like in this April 30 press release – providing the audience with multiple voices for this real-world application utilizing cutting-edge tech including AI. This Yahoo Tech post (via GeekWire) didn’t use the quote from Google Cloud itself, but rather a partner’s.

In the State of the Media Report, 44% of journalists told us they want PR professionals to provide them with industry expert interviews. One respondent tells PR teams to “Provide sources for interviews who are subject matter experts and willing to be honest and forthcoming and answer questions.” If you need a quote from a subject matter expert, check out ProfNet, our database of expert sources who are ready to connect with journalists.

Key Takeaways

When utilizing a good quote to make your content more newsworthy, remember:

  • Be concise and make sure each sentence within a quote can stand on its own.
  • Answer for the audience, “Why does this news matter?” A strong quote can make the story impactful by incorporating a strong opinion/action/perspective.
  • Provide multiple voices. Go beyond the standard executive quote and provide quotes from a partner or subject matter expert when possible.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Recent Posts

Glenn Frates is Regional Vice President at PR Newswire. Glenn’s 20+ years experience in content distribution and best practices, global marketing strategies and large-scale operations management has provided him a broad perspective on what does and doesn’t work well in the Marketing/PR arena.

You may also like...