Free sample from 'A guide to creating effective press releases' to illustrate a point about plain English
The other day I mentioned that I came up using the idea of plain English for Simply Put after studying law (kind of).
Today I thought I'd illustrate the point and give you a free sample of A guide to creating effective press releases into the bargain, including the activity that goes with this section.
Hopefully you'll find it useful - and then buy the book. ;)
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
(Free sample from A guide to creating effective press releases)
Use plain English
How many times have you heard somebody say they're really fond of the legal jargon that lawyers use or the medical jargon doctors use? Despite the fact that we don't particularly like other people using overly complex words, we all too often want to use them ourselves.
Although you may think you'll sound a lot smarter if you scour the dictionary looking for big words and fancy adjectives, the goal of a press release is to convey information, promote something, and get people interested in it. To do that, it's better to stick to plain, easy to understand English.
Plain English does not mean dull or uncreative English, it simply means that you don't force your audience to consult a thesaurus to wade through your prose.
You want to talk to your audience and engage them in language they use, not talk down to them or confuse them.
For the same reasons, you should avoid overuse of adjectives or flowery language. Note that I'm not saying to not use adjectives at all, just use them sparingly.
Be aware of who you're writing for, and write appropriately.
It's fine to use emotive language when it's suitable, but it soon becomes tiring to read about how incredibly super-duper awesomely amazing your product or service is.
Read your press releases aloud and honestly evaluate how you would feel if somebody was talking to you about what they were promoting. If you're writing a press release for yourself or your product, does it sound like you?