Stuart Pearcey
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Words and Spaces Ltd
Tue,15th July, 2014

They are so prevalent in our language these days that we don't seem to notice them any more; those phrases that state the blindingly obvious.

I've lost count of the number of media releases I've read in recent weeks trumpeting some development or appointment in which the first direct quote says that someone is delighted. Of course they're delighted. There has been a positive development in their company, and they want to see it on line or in print. Why wouldn't they be delighted? In the case of an appointee, we're told they will add a great deal to the company. It would be a strange appointment if that wasn't the case. Tell us something we don't know, or couldn't work out for ourselves.

This may seem like the grumble of an old media hack, but there is a very serious point here. The clue's in the name. News. Give us a valuable nugget to work with, and your release has more chance of being published. Give us the same old phrases, and you're turning off the reader, who may well quickly move on to the next item.

Don't write that someone's delighted at the new development. Tell us what it will improve, and why. In the case of an appointment, tell us not that the new staff member will make a difference, but why. Doing so will engage the reader, and is more likely to reward you with publication.

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