Thursday, July 4, 2013

Use Active Voice
in your Press Release

Software developers should write the vast majority of their sentences in the active voice.

Nearly every sentence should be in the format "Subject does something to object". Very few sentences should be in the format "Object has something done to it by the subject."

It's easy to tell if you're writing in the active voice or in the passive voice. Say the sentence aloud. If it sounds awkward or evasive, chances are you're writing in the passive voice. Think about how you would say the same thought to a friend, and rewrite the sentence. Chances are your rewritten sentence will be in the active voice.

Here are a few examples of the same thoughts written in both active and passive voice:
  • Always use active voice.
  • Active voice should always be used.

  • Widget Corp has released Widget v. 5.
  • Widget v. 5 has been released by Widget Corp.
Passive voice is used a lot by politicians who want to avoid responsibility. That's why we often hear "Some mistakes were made" and why we seldom hear "I made some mistakes".

Active voice communicates ideas better than passive voice. Another reason for writing in the active voice is that editors rarely print passive voice sentences in their magazines or newspapers. When they see passive voice writing, they'll either rewrite your sentence or choose another press release that doesn't require editing. Which choice do you think these busy editors with an inbox full of press releases will make?

You can use news releases to increase your SaaS and desktop/laptop sales. Editors and bloggers need to know what's happening in their field of interest.

Don't think that sending your news releases to the online portals is a substitute for sending press releases to print magazines, newspapers, and bloggers. Web portals increase your spam. Web portals don't help your software sales. Real press releases, on the other hand, bring real buyers to your website.

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