Editorial

Write effective editorial for Business PR

Have you found that your editorial content sometimes flies and sometimes flops with journalists or on social media? Discover the common mistakes and best practice for writing great editorial in our blog below.

If you struggle to get started, we hope this blog will also stop the block! Start tapping into your creative side and produce genuinely interesting content that is factually correct and gets journalists excited.

Don’t forget that you can pick up our free guides about becoming an Influencer here, and please contact us if you’d like to talk about adding ec-pr to your Editorial / Marketing / PR team.


Editorial Case Study vs Sales Case Study: What Are the Key Differences?

Editorial Case Study vs Sales Case Study: What Are the Key Differences?

Editorial Case Study vs Sales Case Study: What Are the Key Differences?

Wordcount, formatting, and focus are three of the ten key differences between an editorial and sales case study. Both are excellent promotional vehicles and play an important role in PR and marketing communications.  You can use a case study to do different things during the sales process.  They do this by getting your company achievements out to prospective customers – directly, by what you say about yourself, or indirectly, through what is said about you. Either way, they’re a great way to show off what you do well and to competitively position your brand.

When it comes to writing a case study, there are a few approaches you can take in terms of delivery format such as video, text, and podcast.  Both types of case study cover the background, challenges, solution, and outcomes but there are some subtle differences between the two.

What are the key characteristics of an editorial case study

Editorial case studies tend to be longer – they act as a storytelling device, with a narrative structure of 800-1200 words. They are detail-oriented, focusing on the whole customer journey and perspective of the problem, range of solutions available, decision-making rationale and subsequently, the business impact of the solution they selected.

Objectively written, and more authoritative in nature, editorial case studies, can carry more information about the business and its area of expertise. This is not dissimilar to the elements you might find within a thought leadership strategy that shows a company or a spokesperson as an authority figure in the industry, giving articulate, informed and engaging opinions on crucial topics.

planning case studies

What purpose does an editorial case study serve?

Editorial case studies help to build credibility through endorsement and create brand awareness. They will have most appeal to people already in the buying cycle. They offer up an excellent opportunity for prospects to engage with an independent view of a real-life example of how your company has benefitted a customer. In fact, the best editorial case studies will feature extensive direct contributions and comments from specific customers who are happy with your services.

If a customer has increased revenue or been able to grow, the results speak for themselves, without having to actively ‘sell’ anything. It’s a great way to publicise the value of the products and services you offer and create familiarity. Editorial case studies are designed to educate and inform.

Where do editorial case studies appear?

An editorial case study falls into the category of ‘earned media’ and will appear in third-party channels such as magazines and websites. The publications that pick this up will focus on issues from a reader perspective and therefore have an interest in how customers are addressing common challenges. Editorial case studies, written by an expert writer, or journalist, are perfect collateral for these kinds of publication, as they are solution-oriented rather than sales focused.

The overall tone is considered and credible, leaving the reader confident that your business has the solution they’re looking for because of what respected third parties have chosen to say about you.

What are the key characteristics of a sales case studies

One of the most evident differences between a sales case study and an editorial case study is the length and structure. Sales case studies are considerably shorter at only 450-600 words and are usually much more succinct. For that reason, companies opt for snappier sentences, with more adjectives, and bullet points to get their message across in as few words as possible. This helps to spark interest and draw the reader in. Sales case studies are written from the perspective of the company and tend to focus on the specific features and benefits that your company, alone, can provide underpinned by great customer quotes.

What purpose does a sales case study serve?

The purpose of a sales case study is to highlight the reliability of a product or service in delivering on its customer promise (aka value proposition) and the excellent customer experience delivered.

Rather than objective, these case studies are partisan, they are passionate advocacy pieces rooted in fact but designed to do one thing – reassure and entice. They make an excellent business case that entices buyers and prospective customers into stepping into the sales funnel.

Where do sales case studies appear?

A sales case study can appear in a variety of forms in any media over which you have complete control, known as ‘owned’ media. This includes channels such as your website, LinkedIn, Twitter, sales presentations, and company brochures. A sales case study would never appear in high quality third-party media – unless as an advertorial – which immediately reduces its credibility. The overall tone of a sales case study is persuasive and provocative. It serves to convince a customer of a company’s benefits and inspire interest in products and services. It should aim to answer some of the most pressing questions first and then explain how you will help them do business better.

How to write your own case studies

If you’re looking for ways to grow your customer base and create new leads, case studies are an excellent tool. You don’t always have to pick between editorial or sales either. Both can be leveraged side by side to appeal to different customer segments, create stronger brand awareness and coax more leads into your sales funnel.

Your B2B case study checklist

Editorial case study:

800-1200 words
Narrative
More authoritative, thought leadership
Objectively written

Focus on the customer’s perspective and their view of the problem

This is Solution message oriented

Appears in 3rd party channels, it appears in earned media e.g., a magazine

Tone: considered and credible

What’s its value to you? Endorsement, positioning, expertise

Trust level: High

Sales case study:

Considerably shorter 450-600 words

Bullets permitted

More adjectives

Subjective/partisan

Written from your perspective

This is Value message oriented

Appears on your website/sales collateral, it appears in owned media e.g., your website

Tone: persuasive and passionate

What’s its value to you? Education, evidence

Trust level: Low

If you want to know more about B2B communication and the work we do here at EC-PR, get in touch.
The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

How to write a tech news release in 2021

How to write a tech news release in 2021

How to write a tech news release in 2021

10 questions to consider when writing a tech news release

Tech moves fast excerptThere are ten key questions you should consider when you start planning a tech news release. The purpose of a news release is to communicate to your target audiences that you are an active player in the market and worth talking to; it’s also a valuable vehicle to remind your competition that you’re a force to be reckoned with.  Tech moves fast which means there is always news, so you need to make sure you are part of it. So, here’s a checklist to ensure focused and impactful B2B tech news delivery.

1 Ask yourself, what is the news story? (in less than 20 words)

A news story is something that has never been announced before – it’s important to remember this. It is bad practice to dress up an old event and try and pass it off as a news story. So, ask yourself: what is the new and interesting element of my news story? If you can answer this, you will know whether you have the power to excite your audience or not. The story is not the product or service, it is what the product or service will do for the industry.

2 Is a news release the right vehicle?

It is easy to believe that a new customer, new product, or a new office is all news, and that a news release is the only vehicle. But might a 1000-word article placed in your top target media outlet be a better way of communicating your messages than a short news mention? The article can be shared widely on LinkedIn, re-purposed for a blog, and may have a far more powerful outcome for the brand. Consider all options before just defaulting to a news release.

3 What is your ‘headline grabber’?

You want to grab the journalist’s attention straight away, so you need a headline that is arresting, demands attention and makes the reader want to read on. In B2B, a news release announces one of the following recent achievements: a client/customer contract wina significant technological development, or a new industry insight – possibly because of recent research. Caution: unless your most recent recruit is a well-recognised industry authority, new employee announcements are best done through internal comms.  It’s not news.

‘Business benefits’ is a much-overused phrase in tech PR but, being honest, whatever your news is, it must connect with the industry, as making money is a driving factor, for you and your customers. You need to write a headline which will not only engage the journalist but will attract the audience of your chosen target media. 

4 Does every word pack a punch?

The first paragraph should fully encapsulate the core message with every word packing a punch. One of our golden rules is to write the first paragraph as a stand-alone. In years gone by, this meant that if an editor was short of space, they could edit from the bottom up. If all that was left was the first paragraph, this should stand alone as a summary of the story. Of course, the advent of online media means that space isn’t necessarily an issue for editors now, but don’t think this means you can ramble on forever.  Editors may not be short of space, but readers are definitely short on time.

One of our golden rules excerptTwo to five paragraphs should follow, including a quote.  These should cover the essential news release elements of who, what, why, where, and how.  Write these with the view that they should be intelligible for, and interesting to, a non-specialist journalist who may be working across several sectors – this will ensure you do not disappear into a black hole of technical detail.

Now, having identified the story and written your release, you can write your headline.  Headlines should be factual and arresting, signposting what the story is about, and be mindful to avoid technical jargon.

5 What language should you use?

Keep your language business like and easy to understand. The days of ‘waffle’ and jargon are over. Be succinct, factual, using British English, and ensure every word in the first paragraph supports the exact story you are delivering. Less is definitely more.

6 Who is the audience for your news release?

While drafting, keep in mind the audience for your news release, specifically the readers of the publications you are targeting. Again, much over-emphasised, but if you are launching an education technology story, make sure your language reflects the academic industry and that it will resonate with readers.

And then, once drafted, some final words of advice:

7 Have you sense-checked your news release?

Just because you know your subject matter does not necessarily mean your news release will make sense to the reader. Once the release is written, give yourself a break, do something else before reading it a couple more times. Keep asking if you’ve made clear compelling points. Reading out loud can provide an effective reality check and it’s sensible to ask a colleague who doesn’t work in your team to review the text. If at this stage, it doesn’t deliver, you will know before it hits the editors’ inboxes, and you have time to re-word to shape up your copy.

8 Can a news release be too short?

If you miss out evidence or fail to give the necessary context, a news release can become too brief – in which case, the editorial team may reject it because it appears insubstantial or that it simply doesn’t fit their format.  A press release should be at least 450 words, traditionally, no longer than 1.5 sides of A4, using 1.5 spacing. If you need to go beyond this with supporting documents, include links. It will be easier for the journalist to publish, and you’ll be keeping it lean and focused.

9 Are backlinks in news releases a good idea?

A backlink should be considered an essential element of your news release – it’s not a good idea, it’s a brilliant one!  Nothing should go to the media these days without at least one backlink to the company website, possibly a second link to a specific landing page which is relevant to the product/service/report you are launching. This will send readers straight to your target webpage. By using trackable links, you are also providing yourself with a key measurement tool. Some media will have a policy of no links, but it’s always worth a try.

10 How do you distribute a news release?

You should never distribute a news release without considering the inbox of the recipients. Always send a news release to named journalists at your target publications. Ideally, someone who has expressed an interest in your type of technology or service. The days of blasting out a release were over well before the COVID-19 pandemic, and these days it is harder to connect with media, since phone follow-ups are a no-no. A succinct email pitch, followed by the release, to a target journalist, is what is required. Make it brief, targeted and friendly, and never add attachments, but rather links to images using Dropbox or a similar cloud platform.

Need help writing your tech news release?

For help writing and distributing tech news releases for your B2B business reach out to our specialists today. Or take a look at the PRCA website for their “Writing Effective Press Releases” course. And if you would like to learn more about writing for your target audience, we’d highly recommend this valuable guide: the 8-step communication strategy.

Or, if you’d just like to stay in touch – sign up  to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

DOWNLOAD: Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

A complete guide to delivering your business plan

Go >

Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

8-Step Communication strategy guide

A comprehensive guide to delivering your business goals using intelligent and relevant messaging.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

How to write a b2b news release that editors want to run

How to write a b2b news release that editors want to run

How to write a b2b news release that editors want to run

In order to write a b2b press release that editors want to run you need to understand how a press release can add value to your business as well as what editors are looking for. In this blog we give you all the information you need to write strong news material that editors want to publish.

Why is it important to issue press releases?

The purpose of a news release is to communicate to your target audiences that you are a dynamic force within your industry; that you are an attractive employer and business partner who adds value in all areas of operation.

How often should you issue you a news release?

You should issue a news release whenever you have something new to announce that will benefit your target audience and therefore will be something they want to read. We recommend releasing news at least once a month.

Where can you find news stories in your business?

News is quite simply everywhere! Every invoice you issue tells a story. News can be found in:

  1. New products/services
  2. Developments in existing products and services
  3. New contracts
  4. Client anniversaries
  5. New insight, research or analysis
  6. Local community activity

Find more ideas in our blog post here: 6 Content Topics to kickstart your media engagement.

 

write press releases in your style but not pink magnetic letters

A word of caution: unless your most recent recruit is a celebrated industry authority, new employee announcements are best done through internal comms and social media– they’re not news.

What makes a strong headline in a news release?

Headlines should be short, factual and arresting, signposting what the story is about. They should avoid technical jargon.

What tone and style should you use?

Your tone should be factual and business-like. Avoid flowery language and complex sentences. Always write with the audience in mind. At the end of every sentence or two, stop and ask yourself – why should the audience care about that statement – how does it interest or benefit them?

The first paragraph should say it all!

The golden rule is to write the first paragraph as a stand-alone. In years gone by, this meant that if an editor was short of space, they could edit from the bottom up. If all that was left was the first paragraph, this should stand alone as a summary of the story. Of course, the advent of online media means that space is not necessarily an issue, but people nowadays are busy, so if you don’t capture their interest fast, you will lose them.

Press release length - is longer better? pink cadillac long car

How long should your news release be?

Stick to 600 words as a rule of thumb. They can be sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. 600 meaty words is what you should be aiming for while keeping adjectives to a minimum.

Two to five paragraphs should follow the awesome first paragraph. These will evidence your opening statement covering who, what, why, where, and how. Write these with the view that they should be intelligible for, and interesting to, a non-specialist journalist who may be working across several sectors – this will ensure you do not disappear into a black hole of technical lingo.

Z

DOWNLOAD: The ultimate guide to writing a press release

How to capture quality customer comments in your press release

Once you have written the body of the release, turn paragraph two or three into a quote from a senior spokesperson, ideally a director or a customer. By doing so, you avoid bolting on a weak generic comment which says very little, if anything at all and makes him or her look slightly vacuous and dull!

How to command more space than your competitors

Providing high-quality images, an infographic or explainer video will all help you to dominate the page and squeeze out news from your competitors.

Stand out from the crowd with your press release

Use your news to increase your reach

Once you’re ready to send out your press release, go through it and add two backlinks. One to a credible source that evidences a fact in your article and another to a relevant credible item on your website. Ideally, make these trackable links using something like bit/ly.

A word of caution: don’t be surprised if some media outlets remove the backlinks.

And finally…

At the end of the release, add contact details – not those of the sales office – editors actively dislike this; make sure the details are live and go directly to an individual – you don’t want to waste any interest that might be generated.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide: How to write a B2B press release

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

6 Ideas for Media Content When You're Stuck
The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

New PR Guide

Your Definitive Media Lens Guide shows you how to identify the maximum potential influence for your B2B business.

Download

Think your company has nothing newsworthy to talk about…? 6 content topics to kickstart your media engagement.

Think your company has nothing newsworthy to talk about…? 6 content topics to kickstart your media engagement.

Think your company has nothing newsworthy to talk about…? 6 content topics to kickstart your media engagement.

When speaking to our clients and prospects, they often say their business is too complex, complicated or technical to be of interest to the wider public. Or they might say that there’s simply nothing ‘newsworthy’ happening at their company that they could share with the media and other key audiences.

While a news story does often include an element of novelty (think new products, new senior hires, innovative breakthroughs, new facilities etc.) stories that are relevant to the media do not necessarily need to be just about your latest launch or venture. There are stories to be told literally everywhere!

So, where can you look for inspiration and your story ‘angles’?

There’s an infinite supply of materials that can be interpreted and developed into engaging pitches or articles for media engagment if you just look out for them (and speak to people). For ease, I’ve split them up into six typical areas.

Find inspirational angles
Business growth and business benefits

Regardless of the industry you’re in, business success is always worth talking about, with revenue growth, customer momentum or expansion to new markets or geographies showcasing your agility, innovation and accomplishments. Support your success story with concrete numbers or a clearly defined next milestone.

Business benefits are another excellent angle that should really be the core of every company’s messaging. Your technology may be obscure or niche, but what does it enable? Does it deliver greater productivity, lower costs, or provides an impetus for innovation? Think of yourself as an enabler of other organisations’ successes.

 

Your customers – if you don’t ask for a case study, you won’t get one!

They are the cornerstone of your business and you’re building a story with them that is worth talking about. Spend time with your customers to uncover exactly how your products or services are helping their business thrive. Some of them might be well-known brand names, others quirky businesses with a colourful CEO that the media love to talk to. Ask them to endorse you with a testimonial or a full case study.

The industry – find an issue to own or champion

It may seem as if there’s nothing in particular happening at your company at a given point in time, but you are part of a broader industry that is (in one way or another) in flux. Associate yourself with an industry trend or offer a comment on a hot topic. What do you see happening in the market and where do you think it is going? What challenges and best practices can you share? Investigate a relevant trend with a survey and present your results in an engaging and compelling thought leadership article/whitepaper.

Z

DOWNLOAD: The ultimate guide to writing a press release

A partner initiative – demonstrate your purpose

Is there an industry-wide issue that you could address in collaboration with a partner or a trade association? Say a lack of skills or talent that you could address with a joint training programme? Or a lack of industry standards? Set up a new initiative that showcases you’re at the forefront of your industry.

6 Ideas for Media Content When You're Stuck
5 The wider good/your local environment

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that we are connected to our local environment and community much more than we think. Every company relies on its immediate environment for talent, support services and facilities. Support a local charity or a school. Talk to your council about what needs fixing and how you can help your village/town/city. After all, a number of your employees probably call it home.

community
Your employees are your greatest brand ambassadors

Your employees are the heart of your business and a rich source of new and authentic media angles. Do you employ a particularly strong data scientist that derives transformational insights from Big Data? Have you developed a particularly effective on-boarding process? Do you have a unique holiday policy? Did your founders get their business idea during a llama trekking trip (I’m not making this up)?

Unique, authentic and relevant story angles will make your business stand out and be engaging, even if your solutions are complex and difficult to understand.

Just ensure those angles are rooted in a well-developed communication strategy, with clearly defined target audiences – but that’s already another story!

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide: How to become a thought leader

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

6 Ideas for Media Content When You're Stuck
Flare Media Training cover

FLARE Media Training Guide

Become an excellent spokesperson for your B2B business, brand or campaign.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

7 Benefits of outsourcing your PR

If you are considering outsourcing your public relations (PR), then you’ll be looking at the pros and cons of commissioning a PR consultancy over managing your reputation in house.  Here are 7 reasons why you should consider outsourcing your PR:

1. Focus:

The benefit of appointing a PR agency to manage and protect your reputation is that you can focus on your core business, secure in the knowledge that you have a team of professionals dedicated to driving your brand awareness.

2. Scale:

An external agency can commit a team of PR experts to apply their combined knowledge and creativity to further the interests of your brand in line with your business strategy. Working with an agency gives you access to a wealth of talent.

3. Creativity:

An agency is experienced in bringing your strategy to life in creative executions and campaigns that evolve and develop over time. Creative thinking and execution are what they do, what they thrive on and what they excel at.

4. Perspective:

A PR consultancy not only brings an external perspective but a perspective through multiple lenses of expertise. They can and should challenge, inspire and guide based on their informed opinion. As an external, their perspective is not influenced by internal dogma.

5. Cost & liability:

There is no cost associated with appointing an agency. This allows you to avoid bringing an employee into the company, which saves you money on everything from benefits to training. Engaging with an agency’s services is straightforward.

6. Influential network:

Every individual within your agency comes with a proven network of media contacts, database subscriptions and business network to leverage your stories and brand awareness.

7. Speed to excellence:

A PR agency will start delivering at pace as soon as you appoint them. Their focus is entirely on your brand and while there will be a short period of getting to know your culture, there will be no lengthy induction period holding up the process.

There are always pros and cons to outsourcing any business activity. However, recruiting an internal resource to handle PR is not the equivalent of appointing a PR agency. It is not a like for like comparison. Appointing a PR manager demonstrates intent but appointing a PR agency is decisive action.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide on how to make your PR work harder: How to Optimise your News Release

READ this awesome PR case study: Lloyds Maritime Academy

look at this Infographic: “How PR differs from advertising

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is.

EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR How We Guarantee Your PR Results Brochure Cover

How we guarantee your PR results

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

Download

Our insights

7 ways PR differs from advertising

7 ways PR differs from advertising

7 ways PR differs from advertising

The key difference between PR and advertising is that advertising space is paid for while editorial space is not – the impact on how and why you use one over the other is rooted in this fundamental difference. There are 7 principle ways that PR is different to advertising. We take a closer look at these here:

1. Credibility:

Paying for space either in the form of advertising or advertorials has a direct impact on your credibility in the mind of the target audience. If your marketing message has clearly been paid for, it will command less trust than an article published independently in the media.

2. Stories:

PR’s expertise is in developing ideas that are aligned to your business strategy, whilst appealing to your target media. Your media want stories that attract and appeal to their audiences. Achieving this fine balance is a skill that PR practitioners have finessed.

3. Purpose:

Advertising is single minded in its delivery in order to be effective and is predominantly a visual medium used to sell a product. PR on the other hand, takes multiple shapes and harnesses media channels to manage reputation and build relationships, often commercial, with your target audiences based on trust.

4. Independence:

The editorial team is, or should be, independent from the commercial arm of the business to ensure editorial independence and integrity. It is this independence which is so precious to you because it endows credibility on your brand by association.

5. No guarantees:

While you pay for the PR agency’s time, there’s no guarantee that coverage will appear – it is down to the editor to decide whether the material is likely to add value to the media channel or not. For this reason, communication with the editorial contacts should be transparent and focused while managing your expectation accordingly.

6. Engagement:

Journalists are looking to get ahead of their competitors, to get a scoop, so a story offered as an exclusive is more likely to appeal. A specific magazine or TV programme can be the first to ‘break your story’ but it can then be sent to multiple journalists thereafter, in order to maximize your press coverage. Your ad, on the other hand, will appear in multiple competitive outlets at the same time, single mindedly communicating its one key message.

7. Cost:

Traditionally, the cost of advertising has far exceeded the cost of PR both in terms of the development and implementation. Digital media and technology are starting to change this, but there is still a very long way to go. The primary skill that your PR company needs is to be able to present your message in a way that will engage and inspire the audience of your target media, through the lense of the editor.

Forbes takes a slightly different perspective but provides a useful comparison table highlighting the difference between advertising and public relations; if you study this table it may help you to decide whether advertising or PR are more suitable to your requirements:

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.