How to Get Better Quotes for Press Releases

13 mins read

Press release quote. Quotes are not only important but also an indispensable element of the press release. The problem is that some advertising copywriters (especially beginners) either do not understand the importance of quotes, and therefore ignore them, or insert such statements into the text that it would be better not to do it at all.

If I only had two dollars left I would spend one dollar on PR.

— Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

Any business copywriter must understand that a quote is a powerful tool for attracting attention, persuasion, and building a brand or company’s image.

And the quote in the press release is the only fragment where emotions are allowed. The statement, which carries important, interesting information, attracts the reader. 

How to Write Press Release – Guidelines, Formats, Free Samples

What Gives a Press Release Quote?

The quote is needed by a media employee not only for emotions — sometimes the material needs an expert assessment of events and opinion leaders’ position. Sometimes the expert’s opinion contains important additional facts or figures. All this is extremely important for the press:

  1. Firstly, this is an opportunity to highlight our newsmaker, pay attention to him and insert him into the text, even if the information guide itself is not directly connected with it.
  2. Secondly, this is an opportunity to develop your leader’s image, investing in strong and powerful formulations, vivid, interesting thoughts in his mouth, etc.
  3. Thirdly, this is a tool for developing the image of the company. After all, if the company has a bright leader who speaks well and interestingly, then, therefore, the company is interesting and attractive because a strong leader is unlikely to lead a weak company.
  4. Fourth, this is the only place in the press release where any emotions are allowed. Nowhere else can we afford this; you can not give any estimates, give comparisons and use “sharp” phrases. And here you can. Unlike the rest of the text, the quote is not intended for a journalist but immediately for the final reader. That is, we still focus on the journalist — she should make our story more attractive, add bright colors to it and serve as an additional argument in convincing the journalist that it is worth working with our story, that she deserves attention and time spent.

Strong emotions are what grip the journalist. It’s interesting to him. He understands how to feed the reader. A bumpy quote clinging to the quote, sometimes even a sharp quote, can attract editorial staff’s attention more than pathos info pods.

What Should Be Press Release Quotes?

“PR writing is so horribly consistent — or consistently horrible — that agencies even have a template for it.”

— Mark Ragan, president, Ragan Communications

When picking up quotes for a press release, remember that they should not be too long, boring, lengthy. It is good if the quote reports new details, gives an unexpected assessment.

The worst mistake is to try to sell a company, goods, or services through quotes. Don’t let her advertise or sell anything. It must be quite short, but at the same time — capacious, bright and meaningful.

Let’s take a closer look at what the quote should be in the press release:

Be an information guide. They should complement the main text of the press release and provide important and interesting information. We give interesting specifics, new details, or a unique, unusual look at the events in the speaker’s direct speech — and then the quote sharply strengthens our text and performs a role. And even if the news is not born from the release, then the quote may well get into some kind of journalist publication related to our organization.

It must be viral when the quote becomes a winged or even a meme. A good bite phrase that you want to repeat and pass on to others. To do this, it must contain a bright picture, a memorable image that will cling to the reader. Of course, it is not always easy to come up with such a phrase. Still, if you constantly work in this direction, you can sometimes find very interesting formulations that in themselves will be an excellent tool for promotion.

Short. Give the speaker a short capacious phrase, and then you highlight it, and the quote is more likely to enter the final publication. It should not occupy a lot of space because the journalist himself will be lost in it and will not allow it in this form to the reader. At worst, he’ll just throw it out. At best, but not really good for us — he will correct it. This is bad because we do not need the journalist to redraw the words at his discretion.

New details, an unexpected look at what is happening — all this is a great way to make your quote noticeable and provide it with a path to publication.

Most Common Mistakes — Don’t Underestimate

“One of the top two abilities lacking in entry-level PR pros: strong writing skills.”

— WorkInPR survey

The direct speech of the newsmaker — the quote is an excellent trigger for the press release. Sometimes the news itself is not very good, but a bright emotional quote can decide everything: the journalist will want to take it to publication. But for this, the PR officer must try.

Let’s talk about what quotes should or should not be for the press release to shoot. What mistakes are most often made by PR workers in working with quotes?

Really Take the Words of Your Speaker into a Quote

Of course, there are such newsmakers whose every word is like gold. And the task of the PR player is to catch every statement and not let it disappear. But this is more of an exception. Most bosses, as a rule, do not understand anything in communications.

Your speaker, most likely, narrowly sings the praises to the brand instead of speaking in the essence of a specific case, which is the basis of the release. And if you throw out the words “best in the industry,” “market leaders,” and “reliable partner” from his speech, then there will be little text left.

Quote as Continuation of Press Release Text

In order not to bother and save time, many PR workers insert a text into the direct speech, which could simply be the text of a press release, that is, current information: statistics and some interesting facts. And then it is not clear: why do you need such a direct speech at all?

A quote is a unique place in the release, the only place you can really add emotion. Draw a bright picture. Do not kill quotes with statistics and passing information. If your quote cannot add a story of value, let it not be better.


Having learned that there should be a quote in the press release, many PR workers are trying to put almost half of the release into direct speech.

The longer the quote, the smaller number of readers it has. If you want anyone to pay attention to your leader’s speech, reduce the quote to a minimum. One small paragraph. Then it will stand out. Then it will look easy to read, and the journalist will not jump to the next release. 

Immerse in the Emotions

Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad

Richard Branson

When speakers report some achievements of the company, they adore the use of formulations like “I am very pleased to realize…,” “I am very proud to imagine…,” “I am unusually excited..,” etc. It’s not interesting to anyone. It doesn’t add value to the news. Does not carry any business meanings. And it doesn’t make history more interesting.

The quote should not worry the director but the reader. Then it makes sense.


Often PR workers write both the text of the press release and the text of the quote in one common suspended semi-official manner. And it feels like a robot is talking to you. Even if in life your boss speaks to the intonations of the navigator in the car or Siri from the iPhone, you should not transfer this mechanistic language to the quote.

Write in a spoken language, and do not be afraid to seem too simple and close to the people. Show what a man thinks. Maybe your thoughts may not seem very interesting to the reader, but at least sympathy will arise.

Too streamlined quote

Many leaders (especially in state and municipal posts) live on the principle of “it’s better not to rock the boat.” And this position leads to the fact that all bright and sharp moments from the quote are deleted.

In this version, it is better to abandon the quote or even the entire press release as a whole.

Corporate Language

PR workers very quickly pick up from corporate functionaries the manner of a dead language, consisting of stamps, stationery, and pseudo terms: we develop advanced underwriting technologies, apply innovative approaches to cleaning, provide assistance and support to the poor, etc.

Measles long phrases in a suffering pledge, overpowering with foreign tracing paper, terms, and industry jargon. All this must be immediately excluded from the quotes.

How To Do Public Relations For Small Business

How to use

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Talk, Not Show

Do not burden the reader that your product is innovative and super-technological. Tell exactly what it’s doing and how it works. How it improves the life of the consumer. And show the innovation. Describe the process and result. Draw a picture in the reader’s head. It’s better than any epithet.

Decorate stories with bright, clinging, emotional quotes that bear value and increase significance.

FAQ: Press Release Quote

📍 How to write a quote in a press release?

Highlight the quote in italics and the author of the words in bold — so they will immediately be noticeable, and the reader of your release will easily detect them, and the monotony of the overall text will be diluted.

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Anastasiya Britvenko

My name is Anastasiya Britvenko. I’m a content-manager, publisher, copywriter, blogger, English, Ukrainian, Russian translator, teacher, and have a Ph.D. in Economics. I have graduated from a musical school in a piano class. In my spare time, I like to play chess. My further goals include regular self-development, mastering new useful skills, and career advancement whenever possible.

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