Over the past few weeks, I have met with a pair of prospective clients. Both are excellent companies, national in scope and doing some outstanding, innovative work that fill major needs in the market.

Alas, both have news releases that suffer from the same ailment that beset countless others with white-noise writers at the helm: the annoyingly premature appositive.

An appositive, brilliantly and hilariously described here by Robin L. Simmons, is a phrase that describes the subject immediately on the other side of the comma. In unskilled hands, however, the appositive can be annoying. And oh-so premature.

Sometimes, as in the case of the above-mentioned prospective clients, it can suffer from both maladies.

OK, time to offer up a concrete (if hypothetical) example:

“Inside Edge PR, an award-winning and innovative public relations company that specializes in writing real stories that people actually care about instead of white-noise pieces of drivel that lack any awareness of the media’s need, today wrote a blog post about annoyingly premature appositives.”

Here’s what’s annoying about stories that start this way: it tries to cram in too much, too soon. It doesn’t trust that the reader will get to the third or fourth paragraph or read any complementary writing that will flesh out the context of a given company, product or event.

Solution: tell a story that grabs the reader from the get-go, is actually interesting, and offers something of value to your audience. Do all of that, and they’ll read not only the fourth paragraph, but the 14th.

To find news release samples that are appositively sensitive to this issue, check out Inside Edge PR’s Resources page.


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