Most people speak differently to how they write — except perhaps for academics. So why is it that so many corporate writers fail to capture this essential difference when attributing quotes to their sources?
Research shows that readers pay special attention to text that is placed inside quotation marks. This is because quotes represent the authentic, non-paraphrased voice of the source. They are more credible.
For this reason, corporate writers should use the space between quotation marks to drive home key corporate messages. But they must use a voice that is “human” rather than “corporate”, and sadly too few do.
Take a good look at the next press release you read in your newspaper. (It’s not hard to identify them; some newspapers even do it for you). Check the “voice” enclosed in quotation marks.
Does it read/sound as if a human said it? Or does it read like a block of written text or jargon that could have been lifted straight from a corporate brochure? Can you “hear” a voice at all? do you believe what you hear?
Companies don’t speak — people do. that’s why it’s so important to put a real human voice inside of quotation marks.