A PR’s guide to the Press Release: Grammar Rules

Grammar

A PR’s guide to the Press Release: Grammar Rules

When conducting PR for your business it is important you get the press release grammar rules right.

The IT rule: Your company is a singular not a collective

This is the one rule that really annoys writers: Your company is always referred to in the singular not in the plural, even though you know there are lots of people working at the company, always use “it” and “has” rather than “they” or “have”.

ie.

Wrong: Smoothilious have just launched a new drink, they have called it Banarama.

Right: Smoothilious has just launched a new drink, it is called Banarama.

 

Affect v Effect

Lots of people get this wrong. The way we remember it is:

  • Affect is the action word (“A” for Action), it is a verb, a doing word. To affect something is ‘to make a difference to it’. In terms of press release writing we often use “affect” for something that is happening now or in the future.
  • Effect is the eventuality (“E” for Eventuality), it is the result or influence, it is usually a noun but it can occasionally be used as a verb in formal contexts i.e. “to effect change”. In terms of press release writing we often use “effect” for something that has happened.

 

Wrong: This new launch is really going to effect the retail market

Right: This new launch is really going to affect the retail market

Wrong: The launch had a profound effect on the retail market

Right: The launch had a profound effect on the retail market

 

There, They’re Their

  • There = a place. i.e. The product is created there.
  • They’re = they are. i.e. They’re going to product another variety.
  • Their = belonging to them. i.e. That is their

 

Your and you’re

  • Your = belonging to you. i.e. Is this your business?
  • You’re = you are. i.e. You’re going to produce a new product.

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