Artificial intelligence (AI) has made remarkable strides in many fields, including communications and public relations. AI-powered language models can churn out text at a rapid pace, which can come in handy for marketers and content producers who need to produce several title ideas, social media captions, and more, in a short amount of time. But there remains a profound distinction between human writing and its artificial counterpart.

  • Emotion and empathy: AI can’t convey the complex feelings, subtle nuances, and deep emotions that are rooted in human experiences and perspectives. While AI may generate text that appears emotionally charged, it lacks the genuine understanding and empathy that come naturally to talented human writers. 
  • Creativity and individuality: If you’ve been using various AI-powered language generators, you’ve likely noticed similar phrases and patterns, leading to repetitive, templated copy. Human writers bring creativity to the table, synthesizing disparate ideas, drawing inspiration from diverse sources, and crafting unique narratives that captivate readers.
  • Critical thinking and context: AI may have speed, but human writers can analyze complex issues, do extensive research, and present well-informed arguments. Humans better understand language nuances and can adapt tone and style to suit different audiences and purposes. 

AI may augment our writing processes, but the need for human touch in writing will continue to be irreplaceable. The art of storytelling and expression is a uniquely human endeavor.

Emotion, empathy, creativity, individuality, critical thinking, and context all play a role in what Ann Wylie, award-winning writing coach and CEO of Wylie Communications, recommends when crafting a compelling press release lead. After the headline, the first paragraph of your release is an opportunity to hook your readers and concisely share the highlights and benefits of your news

Here are a few tips from Ann:

Avoid Announcement Leads

Instead of the clichéd, old-fashioned, formulaic lead (“<Company Name>, <company description>, today announces…”), get more creative. Don’t delay your news by burying the verb, and look for more creative verbs instead of the usual PR lingo – announces, launches, etc. Journalists and readers will appreciate you being more upfront with your news and stating your announcements in a more engaging manner. 

Avoid Fact Packs

Often, when cramming who, what, when, where, and why all in the lead, the result is a very long first paragraph. Consider what pertinent information needs to be relayed to your target journalists and audiences and prioritize sharing that information in the first paragraph. Additional details can be shared in the following paragraph or elsewhere in your release.

These Business Wire clients serve as great examples:

From Dairy Queen: Fall is officially here, and as the weather begins to cool, it’s time to break out the knitwear. In celebration of the Fall Blizzard® Treat Menu, available now, American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) has created an exclusive accessory that fans – and their Blizzard Treats – can wear with flair, Blizzard Beanies!

From NatureSweet: NatureSweet®, a leading greenhouse-grower of fruit and vegetables, is now providing the food service industry with several delicious snacking tomato products that will transform meals and take flavor to new heights. Handpicked off the vine, NatureSweet Cherubs®, Glorys®, and Constellation® are bite-sized snacking tomatoes that are bursting with tangy flavor, making them the ideal addition to salads, pasta dishes, charcuterie boards, and so much more.

From Hasbro: Hasbro today announced that global megastar, Katy Perry, will join the beloved PEPPA PIG franchise as a guest voice star in an episode from the all-new, 3-part PEPPA PIG Wedding Party Special that is set to premiere in Spring 2024. To celebrate the iconic animated character’s 20th anniversary next year, the episodes will have little ones and their families jumping into fun, imaginative and oinktastic adventures that real-life wedding parties bring to loved ones everywhere. All casting and filming for the PEPPA PIG Wedding Party Special were contracted and completed before the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes and are compliant with SAG-AFTRA rules and conditions.

Say goodbye to stale openings and hello to compelling, attention-grabbing leads with more tips from Ann Wylie. Download our guide.

Learn more

Press Release Format Tips

Adding Quotes to News Releases

Ann Wylie’s Headline Best Practices

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