PR is all about sending a message, sharing information and giving valuable news. So the golden rule with any story is ‘it is newsworthy?’. By keeping this in mind any good writer should be able to determine if the article is good or not.
These are some helpful tips for anyone considering PR:
1/ Is It Newsworthy?
This has to be the golden rule (as mentioned above and worth mentioning again) and one that any writer needs to take on board. All to often we have seen ‘latest news’ or ‘news flash’ thinking that it was spelling the secrets of the universe, when in fact someone was just using the fact that they changed their shop window as an excuse to mention their company name.
2/ Who Are You Targeting?
Have a think about your audience; what age are they, what demographic, what nationality. Relating to your audience will help you build a better story and help you get the best response (as you are engaging that audience).
3/ Know Your Stuff
When writing a press release, it has to be grounded in fact. Do your research, talk to people, read websites and put time into it. People like stories that have fact and content in them; no-one likes a wishy washy half hearted story that is sparse on fact.
Keep it simple stupid. Very often writers will slip into their industry jargon or try to go into nitty gritty facts that can confuse (if the writer is not well versed in leading and compelling the audience). The best thing to do is keep your article/story as simple as possible. Not necessarily treating the audience like they are simple, but writing so that people do not need to sit down and concentrate in order to read your release.
5/ Keep It Factual
Stories that have facts and figures make better reading that ones that are skirting round information. Articles that have tables, graphs or metrics work well as they are visual. Showing people and talking round the subject is better as it requires less work on the readers behalf.
6/ Don’t Waffle
Content is great, but try not to linger. Do not use 10 words when 5 will do. Shorter snappy stories work better than long ones. Use paragraphs and ensure that the reader can see the end.
7/ Use Pictures
It has been said that pictures speak 1000 words – and this is true. Humans are very visual creatures, so having something visual to go along with your article will elevate it and ensure a better response rate.
8/ Call To Action
What is the reason for your press release? Why are you writing it? What do you want to achieve? These are things that need to be considered when a reader gets to the end. Do you want them to visit your website, make a donation, tell a friend. Always give a call to action – otherwise why bother writing the article and using people precious time?
9/ Be Yourself
You are unique, no one is like you and no one will ever be like you. You have a unique approach to life and to your pursuits and this needs to be conveyed in the style of your writing. Give readers a taster of yourself – people love people.
10/ If You Need Help – Ask
Anyone who has tried writing (whether as a one off or as a profession) has had writers block. They have got stuck and needed help. If you need PR advice then you can always talk to a friend or professional that can help and offer you a different opinion.
PR agencies are a great resource for companies to partner with; either for help and advice or for handling PR campaigns. Experience is an important factor when selecting an agency to work with – so ensure that you choose the right company to work with.
All are unique, and can add a different approach whether handling a campaign for you or whether acting as a ‘think tank’ for you to bounce ideas off. As all agencies are different, PR prices will vary also; so depending on the level of support you are looking for, it is a wise move to compare costs.