The Fake PR Quote

I have a friend who is a longtime journalist. He has served many media outlets in many capacities: reporter, editor, coach/teacher, seminar leader, ethicist and diversity expert.

Alas, his longtime marriage to journalism, for all practical purposes, has ended in divorce. Now he has a new bride, corporate communications and PR. As we sometimes joke, he has crossed over to the dark side.

The new bride is bedeviling him at times. She is not like his first and only true love. She has an evil streak. Yesterday was a prime example when I got an S.O.S. about the “PR quote.”

I come from a background where quote marks are used to set apart words that were actually said, he explained. Quote marks are sacred. My boss tells me we make up the quotes for the press release, he continued. Then we rewrite them and make them even better.

(I think my friend was actually surprised by this practice, although as a longtime journalist I thought he would be aware of it.)

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