Color Bars

Quoting the Greats on PR, Journalism and Creativity

I was working on a copy for a workshop for the PRSA Counselors Academy’s annual conference and subsequent articles on improving writing skills for the PR profession and had slid into a creative morass. Having been a journalist, I turned to the proven ploy of using research to find brilliant people I could quote, then benefit from the halo effect. The quest turned up a few gems I may or may not use, but thought I would share them for the good of the order:

I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

— Robert McCloskey, State Department spokesman

It’s not easy getting up there and saying nothing. It takes a lot of preparation.

– White House spokesman Barry Tiov

Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s ‘St. Matthew’s Passion’ on a ukulele.

— Bagdikian’s Observation

Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.

— Russell Lynes

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.

– Tom Lehrer

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.

— Daniel J. Boorstin

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

— W. Somerset Maugham

Where facts are few, experts are many.

— Donald R. Gannon

What’s another word for Thesaurus?

— Steven Wright

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.

— Peter De Vries

Don’t use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.

— Anon

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.

– Anon

Eschew Obfuscation.

– Anon

Avoid awkward or affected alliteration.

– Anon

Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

– Anon

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