One of the many goals of marketing is to get your target audience excited about your company, product, or service. Announcing breaking news is a good way to do this. Press releases, Facebook updates, blog posts, and tweets are common ways to share exciting news with the public.
Unfortunately I see a common error repeated time and again in these announcements, reducing their effectiveness. The author uses a mistaken idea of "shared enthusiasm" to influence the readers' emotions. The error is easy to spot. Just look for a sentence starting with the following words:
"We're excited to…"
- We're excited to be working with Company X on this initiative.
- We're excited to announce a new webinar series featuring top speakers.
- We're excited to tell you about the new release of our product.
- We're excited to announce a new milestone in the number of subscribers.
The problem with this innocent-sounding phrase is that it shifts the value proposition away from the audience and towards you. If you're excited about it, I immediately know that the news benefits you rather than me. The fact that you are excited about something does not create interest and is not a newsworthy thing to be telling me.
Sometimes (especially in tweets), the fact of your excitement is the entire announcement! That's a total fail. But in many cases, the "we're excited" sentence is immediately followed by the sentence you should be leading with. You explain why you're excited by stating the value proposition for the reader. Just eliminate the lead-in and get right to the good stuff:
- The combined strength of our two companies brings customers extra value and convenience.
- Our new webinar series gives you the chance to hear from top industry experts.
- The latest product release offers you new capabilities and ease of use.
- The record-breaking subscriber base creates an unmatched shared interest community.
Do you see the difference in verb strength? Instead of leading with "we are" you lead with "brings customers," "gives you," "offers you," and similar statements of value delivery.
By the way, I am nowhere near as picky about this phrasing when used by a presenter in the course of a live presentation. In conversational speech where you are building a personal connection with your listeners, enthusiasm really is infectious. If you demonstrate a passion for your subject and your information, the audience feeds off that and can become similarly passionate about it. It just fails when written in a terse and impersonal business announcement.
Remember… The Pointer Sisters were not singing about a corporate merger.
I'm So Excited (click to play)