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”.
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.