With all the roles PR pros play, they must master different writing styles to publish effective press releases, social media posts, and content marketing articles.
Several recent articles address these needs by offering tips for all forms of writing so PR writers can establish themselves as a jack-of-all-trades, including:
Press releases and pitches
Richard Brownell shares 10 takeaways
from a workshop that featured valuable information for writing shareable press releases, attention-grabbing pitches, and compelling social media content.
Among the key best practices addressed were:
• Post with mobile in mind. Nearly half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Use only close-up images, avoid attachments in pitches, and keep headlines short (but informative).Social media posts
• Pitch the story, not the brand. Or as Dharmesh Shah puts it, “pitch solutions, not products.”
• Use keywords wisely. If you don’t believe that Google penalizes those that neglect its link guidelines in press releases, Vladimir Gendelman’s story proves Google enforces its decrees.
• …but don’t leave out links completely. Always provide readers with an opportunity to learn more about your brand. A press release without links fails to serve its purpose.
The “rules” of social media come second nature to some, but Courtney Ramirez’s social media etiquette tips in "Twitter 102: the dos and don’ts of Twitter writing
" should be kept in mind. The rules include:
• Do follow basic rules of English. Twitter’s 140-character limit doesn’t mean spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules go out the window. Start sentences with a capital letter and spell out words, or you’ll tarnish your company’s professionalism and credibility.
• Do share posts with links. According to Guy Kawasaki, every single social media post should carry a link. (But don’t publish long links. Use a URL shortening tool such as Buffer or Bit.ly).
• Do test multiple headlines—and don’t just share the article’s headline.
The way you craft content can change a person’s perspective and find connections where there had been none, Meaghan Keaney Anderson asserts. In "What makes good copywriting? 6 characteristics of top-notch copy
," Anderson illustrates the power of words with a compelling story about a homeless man sitting in a community square.
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In the story, a man sits with a sign that says “I’m blind, please help,” with the occasional passerby stopping to drop a coin. Then a woman comes by, grabs his sign, and writes on the reverse side: “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it.” She replaces the sign next to the man, and the subsequent donations grow significantly.
The message of Purple Feather, content specialists who produced the movie: “Change your words, change your world.”
Randy Milanovic also compiles copywriting tips for PR and marketing content in 7 tips for improving your online marketing writing
He stresses to write with a single person in mind. By developing a persona for your target audience, you create a “one-on-one marketing effect,” so the reader can better relate to the material.
Other best practices for writing content marketing articles:
• Support key statements with statistics, case studies, expert opinions, or another credible source.
• Always end on a strong note by using a conclusion, a call to action, or both.
• Write once and edit twice. The first edit is for structure and organization, the second is to eliminate irrelevant words and sentences.
Bottom line: Concise and well-written content proves your credibility to the media, executives, and your audience.
William J. Comcowich is the editor of Media Monitoring News and the CyberAlert Blog, where a version of the story originally appeared. He is also founder, president and CEO of CyberAlert, Inc.