If you’ve read my introduction page, you know that while attending UMKC I took a journalism course from Pulitzer Prize Winner Bob Unger. I’m starting to see a common theme in that I enjoy referencing my teachers of the past. I guess I just can’t seem to escape the impact that they have had on me.

So what did I learn from Prof. Unger? Well, the number one “Ungerism” that I carry with me in my writing toolbox is to “let the quotes tell the story.”

I seriously sat in back left corner of class and heard him say everyday that “You may be the one writing it, but 10 times out of 10, the quotes can tell the story better than you can – regardless of how good of a writer you are.”

This is so true, all of my best journalism articles to-date, are primarily driven by the quotes that I use to guide the story.

What a great writing rule to live by!?! This doesn’t just apply for journalism articles either, using quotes in your writing can be powerful for marketing your company also.

What’s nice about using quotes is that they give your writing that “real life” feel to it. The quotes guide your story and create the atmosphere that the reader pictures in their head.

So how do you add quotes into your marketing? Try client testimonials and press releases.

Client testimonials, whether used on websites or any other form of advertisement give your potential clients a better idea of what you can really do.

For the most part, we are all cynics… Think about it, it’s so true! I’d be far more likely to go with a company that someone has recommended to me than to go based off of what some salesman is shoving down my throat. The recommendation from the real person, not the business, has more weight when it comes to making the sale.

Quotes are also important to remember when you find yourself writing press releases for the media. I’ve found that the most successful press releases are those that have a quote or two in them that make the story come to life. Media sources are also more likely to be intrigued by the releases with quotes because of that ‘real life’ feel.

If a newspaper or magazine chooses to print your release, it already has quotes for them that match the AP style of writing that they follow. Plus if they choose to contact you for even more information, they have some idea of who they will want to interview for the story.

Just something to think about… as Bob Unger would say, “let the quotes tell the story,” and see the impact that it can have on your company’s marketing.

-from the Writer’s Corner Office Desk

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