How to elicit and use vibrant executive quotes

The arid platitudes that emanate from the corner offices usually add nothing to a release or news story. Help your honchos with key questions and other incisive guidance.

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They’re also usually quite horrible.

They’re typically verbose, unhelpful and downright boring. Executive quotes in PR releases rarely make an impression, because they seldom say anything worthwhile or memorable. The executives sound like robots. Journalists rarely include them in articles. They probably stop reading them after the first “We’re excited about …”

Noteworthy quotes by executive or subject-matter experts add vitality to a story. They can provoke emotion, create images and provide anecdotes or unique perspectives.

“Quotes are your best opportunity to add some appeal, humor, sizzle or auspicious information to your press release without it coming off as too promotional or staged,” advises Lisa Goldsberry at Axia Public Relations. “Quotes can also lend authority to a statement or opinion if they’re attributed to someone specific and relevant to the story. The problem comes when you have the perfect source for the quote, but the actual words fall flat.”

The following recommendations can help PR and corporate communications pros compose quotes that editors include in articles and that people read and remember:

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