Quote Permissions and Attribution

Typing press releaseWhen writing your press release, you may want to quote something someone has said or something you have read. Having permission to use a quote is particularly important, especially if it is longer than a single short sentence.  If it is possible to be taken in a negative way, the consequences could be detrimental.

If you want to quote something you have read (copyrighted information) within your press release and do not attain written permission to use this information, you may be held liable and a lawsuit may result, something no company wants. If you personally know the individual, verbal permission may be all that is required. If you are unsure, it is best to receive permission in writing.

An attribution is simply the acknowledgement or credit of your source of information or of the quote. Most well written press releases use attributions. When quoting copyrighted material, be sure to state the source of the quote, including the date or a link. Be sure to include the full name of the individual who made the quote and their occupational title or company position.

If you are using facts and statistics to enhance your story, make sure that you provide source attributions. The reason for this is simple. It adds credibility. If you publish figures or information without a viable source reference, people might assume “it must be too good to be true”, even though your information may be accurate. Without proper source attributions, your information may appear to be stretching the truth, and this could lead to your press release being overlooked.

Bad example: “XYZ is to raise rates” and XYZ Corporation will capitalize on this.

In the above example, there is no attribution. The example does not state who made the quote, or who is commenting on the quote or their position. This also lacks source and date information.

Good example: “XYZ is to raise rates and this is something we will capitalize on,” stated John Doe, marketing manager of XYZ Corporation, in the February 1, 2004 edition of the Sun Newspaper.

In this example, the source, name and position of the person making the comment is clearly stated and does not leave the reader wondering about the credibility of the press release.

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