Five Things That Irk Editors… and How to Avoid Them
Some of the best publicity you can get for your company is exposure in the trade press. There’s no substitute for third-party verification from the editors, whether they choose to run your press release, quote one of your experts in an article they’re writing, write an article about your company (what flattery!), or accept an article written by a company executive.
Coverage is never guaranteed, but if first and foremost you’ve got a good story, then going out of your way to make the editor’s or journalist’s job easier can leave a good impression and make coverage more likely.
On the flip side, there are some surefire ways to irritate editors — and the last thing you want to do is cause aggravation, especially given all the competition for the press’s attention. Here are some pet peeves editors have expressed and some tips for staying on their good side:
1. Hyperlinks, automatic numbering, etc. — Often editors cut and paste your copy into a publishing system for online posting. Live links, automatic numbering, bullet points, and other such formatting can throw things off and makes things harder on editors. Go with simple formatting in the body of the article and add links as an addendum.
2. Weird spellings — Resist the urge to spell product names in all caps, all lowercase, or, worse, some esoteric combination of uppercase, lowercase, and/or symbols. Editors don’t like this practice, and most will change it to a simple spelling anyway (e.g., “PRO.duct” to “Product”). It’s best to stick with straightforward spellings in editorial copy.
3. Empty quotes — Quotes that start with “We’re looking forward to” or “We’re happy” are a flag to editors that nothing of substance will follow. Editors have been known to cut quotes that contain the words “we’re excited.” If you want to include a quote, then make sure it is meaningful and advances the story.
4. Hyperbole — Editors are weary of hyperbole. Don’t say something is unique, the best, the most innovative, etc., unless you can demonstrate that it truly and verifiably is.
5. Attachments — If you’re tempted to send a press release, article, or other copy via attachment… DON’T! It creates extra work for editors. In fact, don’t send attachments at all unless an editor requests them. It’s best to include all essential information in the body of your email. For images or supplemental information, send links.
We can help you craft copy that avoids these pitfalls and makes editors happy.
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