By Courtney Recently a statement from Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign caught far more attention from the media than the average political press release might merit at this point in the election cycle. The statement, penned by campaign spokesman Rick Tyler, has been animated, analyzed and, most notably, dramatized by actor John Lithgow on Comedy Central's Colbert Report. Regardless of your political leanings, that kind of pick-up is worth noting. How did Tyler accomplish it? We've analyzed the text and drawn several conclusions. Here are three ways to ensure your press release won't be taken seriously: 1. Exaggerate everything. Tyler's text refers to enemies who thought they had “killed off” the candidate, and that the process playing out in the campaign is “the way it always worked.” Hyperbole gives your reader ample chance to poke holes in every statement you make. If derision is what you're after, make sure to go with superlatives and embellishments throughout your copy. 2. Share your delusions of grandeur. Go beyond promoting your product or service and step boldly into the realm of self-aggrandizement. Tyler writes of his employer, “A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught, but out of the billowing smoke and dust…emerged Gingrich.” This line gets Lithgow a lot of laughs from the Colbert Report audience. If that's your goal, too, make sure your press statement puts your business or client above all others in every possible way. If you can belittle competitors and detractors at the same time, extra points for you. 3. Avoid facts. Overwrite everything. Use a lot of metaphors. Tyler talks about “the sheep” and “the firefight” to describe critics and their actions. He peppers his prose with adverbs – “timidly,” “cowardly.” Rather than present objective information, the press statement's author lashes out at “the political elite” and their “minions.” Here's a mantra for mockery: broadcast style over substance.
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