You can often spot news stories that arrived via press release in one very obvious way.
"We are delighted to announce..."
"We are proud to reveal..."
"This partnership/piece of work/announcement marks a new phase in..."
Boring, box ticking, corporate. If you hadn't stopped reading already, these deadening quotes will finish you off.
Quotes are so very often the worst bit of a press release. My old boss had a complete ban on "delighted" in quotes. Too right.
Which is why I was completely delighted (oh yes) by the normally annoying 'Facebook memory' that popped up today - and included this gem of a story:
"Paper conservator Ann Evans, 58, spent six months painstakingly restoring the poster which will be featured at an Art Nouveau exhibition in Glasgow.
"It was framed by conservator Sophie Kostin, 44, ahead of Kelvingrove museum's exhibition Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty.
"Ann said that she has worked on the artwork for around 240 hours.
"She said: "I'm never doing it again. It was way too much work."
I'm never doing it again, it was too much work.
Obviously, Anne Evans here is being somewhat flippant. But the quote works - it's engaging and it lets you know that people have slaved over this stuff, it's rare, it's worth seeing. When even someone who does this for a living says it was a pain in the arse, you know it's probably a good thing.
And moreover, it's funny, it's nice to read, it's refreshing. When did you last read someone involved in the world of museums say something like this? Suddenly, you care a lot more about this. Maybe you'll even read on to the end.
If you do, you'll be rewarded with another gem:
"We've used a specialised glass in the frame. It's laminated, with two layers and a 99.9 per cent UV protection."
"The pair admitted that they had done a test run of framing the famous artwork "just to make sure we weren't going to drop it".
Actual humans in press quotes shock!
Obviously, an agency can't go round slagging off its clients. "This ad was a pain in the arse, but you know, we need the money."
But working a little harder on your quotes - being a little more honest (within reason, see above) and just trying that bit harder can pay off.
You make great work, create great things - why not try and develop a press quote that might even leave people... well, ever so slightly delighted.