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Tips for Creating Powerful, Pithy and Publishable Soundbites

By Jonah Bryson for PRNews

The 24-hour news cycle drowns countless stories that deserve attention. Stories cannot land press coverage without a tasty soundbite, as Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson describes them. Hence it is paramount to design, deliver and circulate soundbites strategically.

Here are two that have stood the test of time:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – FDR

“I have a dream” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both famously symbolize a moment in history and crystallize a broad message. They articulate a vision for shared destiny–one with economic security and the other with democratic freedoms–all in just a few words. As Dr. Tyson says, “Why do you think we call them bites?

Below are tips for creating pithy, memorable and newsworthy soundbites and getting them seen.


Soundbites should be timely and convey hope, evoke emotions and/or inspire interest. Their purpose is not to divulge the breadth of a subject, but to spark curiosity, inquiry or action.

Let’s do an exercise. The day following Dr. King’s 1963 speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, headlines nationwide flashed the words “I Have a Dream.” Now, envision headlines covering your speech, statement, interview or press conference. What would they say?

Designing your soundbite as a perfect world headline forces you to keep it concise and to the point, without room for embellishment. Journalists will appreciate the punchy quote that fits flawlessly into their news stories and scoop-alert tweets. These increase the odds of publication or broadcast…or both. It is a win-win.

And please, resist simply regurgitating background information that the media can source without quoting you. Your soundbite should not repeat what already is known. Instead, provide a unique perspective.

For more, click here.

Photo by Werner Pfennig:

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