Watch Your Language! Use Simpler Words as the Basis of Your Press Release Writing

February 12, 2014

We receive press releases every day, and are very attentive to the texts in order to provide editors with the kind information they are used to getting. Yet, I must say that we should correct press releases and usually try to give useful information about how to write better, in the hope that our tips and articles will help improve your English writing skills, consequently leading to greater software sales.

We’ve already written an article on the rules that are generally recommended while writing the text of a press release, but now I want to draw your attention to the concepts of writing clearly and understandably in the English language.

Write in a more understandable way and choose simpler words to express the main idea.
Use a simpler word whenever you can. Replacing complex words with simpler words wherever possible lets your readers concentrate on your ideas and information.

Your press release should be easy for the average person to understand, without having to pull out the dictionary. Don't add unnecessary complexity, and don't assume that the reader knows industry jargon or slang. Keep it simple.

The use of unfamiliar or complex terms interferes with comprehension and slows readers down. Readers may even skip terms they don’t understand, hoping to find their meanings within the context of the rest of the sentence.

Use shorter, simpler words as the basis of your writing and save longer or complex words for when they are essential. As the writer, you control how specific your information is. The further you move away from the use of abstract words, and towards specific ones, the clearer and more precise your message becomes.

Use everyday words and phrases. This is important. Use the language of everyday speech, for example, the terms: "so, do, get, make, and build”, rather than “develop, obtain, maximize, and construct."

Here is a list of some other complex terms and their simpler alternatives:

Advantageous — helpful;
Accompany – go with;
Accurate - correct, exact, right;
Additional – more;
Approximate - about;
Commence — begin, start;
Consolidate — combine;
Deleterious — harmful;
Demonstrate - prove, show;
Determine - decide, figure, find;
Endeavor — try;
Erroneous — wrong;
Expeditious — fast;
Elect - choose, pick;
Frequently – often;
Facilitate — ease, help;
Inception — start;
Implement — carry out;
Immediately - at once;
Leverage — use;
Maintain - keep, support;
Optimize — perfect;
Prescribed — required;
Proficiencies — skills;
Promulgate — issue or publish;
Proximity — near;
Regarding — about;
Relocate – move;
Remain - stay;
Purchase - buy;
Remuneration — reward, payment;
Subsequently — after or later.

Regardless of whether English is your first or second language, these guidelines can help enhance the structure, flow and clarity of your writing, thus improving your sales in Western and American software markets.

"I try to use simpler words in my own writing, doing so is not always possible. Sometimes I need a complex word to communicate a more precise meaning. Other times, complex words cannot be avoided due to the subject matter. As a general rule, I use simpler words as the basis of my writing and save the more complex words for when they’re absolutely necessary—or if I’m trying to impress another editor."

Laura Hale Brockway is the author of the grammar/usage/random thoughts blog:

"From my experience, people will often use the more complex word to impress or because they operate in a work culture where these words are commonly used. As a former journalist who is now a media adviser I do not like them when communicating to a mass audience as they exclude audience and send an implicit message that the author is incapable of or unwilling to speak in plain English."