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.


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.

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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.

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Produce and optimise your news releases with our indispensible tool kit

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
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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.

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How to become a thought leader

Thought Leadership in STEM industries is essential as a way of driving innovation, producing exciting solutions and sharing new ideas...

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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.

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Produce and optimise your news releases with our indispensible tool kit

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.

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

Subscribe to our updates

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

How to Become a Thought Leader cover

How to become a thought leader

Thought Leadership in STEM industries is essential as a way of driving innovation, producing exciting solutions and sharing new ideas...

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.

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Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

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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.
How to write a tech news release

How to write a tech news release

How to write 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, you need to make sure you’re in it.

Subject

Tech moves fast excerptUsually, a news release announces one of the following recent achievements: a client/customer contract win, a significant technical development or a new industry insight – possibly as a result 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.

Headline

Having identified that you do have a story, the first thing you should write your headline. Headlines should be factual and arresting, signposting what the story is about. They should avoid technical jargon.

Content

One of our golden rules excerptThen, draft your first paragraph, highlighting the point of interest. 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.  News releases should be no more than 1.5 pages – with more and more information at your fingertips, as a reader you want engaging and informative content therefore, drafting the first paragraph as a stand-alone has more value than ever.

Two to five paragraphs should follow.  These will evidence your opening statements 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 nonsense.

Quote

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

At the end of the release add your contact details.

Once you have got your release approved dispatch to your media contacts with one or two high quality professional images.

This article tells you how to structure a tech news release, to discover how to can get the most out of your news, download our: News Release Production and Optimisation guide.

See more about our approach to creating content in our Beehive.

Thought Leadership: How To Become An Industry Influencer

Thought Leadership: How To Become An Industry Influencer

You are already an expert in your field but becoming a thought leader is considered the holy grail of PR and marketing. It’s when you’re called by the BBC News to be an expert on a breaking story, when the most respected industry trade magazine calls you for your opinion and when you’re asked to speak at those all-important industry events.

But in this noisy world where everyone has an opinion, how do you become a thought leader? How do you elevate yourself and the brand you represent, with your own clear, well thought out viewpoint?

The initial stages to becoming and staying a thought leader is taking the time to thoroughly Research & Formulate your thoughts before Communicating them with the media.  Follow our tried and tested steps to get you started:

STAGE 1: RESEARCH THE 5 BE’s

BE PASSIONATE

Focus on something you are passionate about. You must genuinely love your subject. If you care, you will come across as authentic and credible. To remain current, you will need to keep abreast of the latest thinking relating to your area of expertise – reading widely is an essential practice for a thought leader as is talking to other experts to fine tune your opinions.

BE INFORMED

Research your area properly so that you are informed on different possible perspectives.Consider topical issues, those in the news –  for example; climate change, autonomous ships and piracy, and develop your opinion on them. Writing and news reporting is rarely impartial, so think about what
 the motivation might be behind the various documented opinions you read.

BE EVIDENCE DRIVEN

Evaluate which angles have the most merit, and document these. Having looked at the main options, consider the evidence that the opinions are based on. Draw up a list of evidence the writers refer to and evaluate which you think is the most robust and persuasive. Which do you find the most compelling?

BE OPINIONATED

Develop your opinion with appropriate proof points.As you develop your opinions, remember to keep detailed notes and annotate your text so that you can keep track of where your influences have come from. Depending on the material format you produce, you may need to quote sources.

BE VISUAL

Create visual representations of your idea.Wherever possible, create models, illustrations, infographics or even cartoons to bring your ideas to life. If you struggle with this, find someone who can help you. Remember, different people engage with, and absorb, information in different ways; by using graphics you can simplify complex concepts, increasing your chances of engaging with more people.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

It’s critical to be clear about who you want to engage withbecause this will inform the tone and intellectual level you need to adopt in your language, content and presentation style. For example, the BBC News traditionally broadcasts news stories in a way that an average 14-year old can understand – this means researchers and interviewers drill down to the essence of a story, sometimes appearing to oversimplify it in order to make it accessible to its broad audience. Other media organisations will have a different approach or style.

STAGE 2: FORMULATE

PULL TOGETHER YOUR THOUGHTS IN A ‘THINK PIECE’

With the information you have researched, draft a minimum of 100 words on each of the points below… alternatively, you can record your thoughts into a voice recorder. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do you care about this?
  • Why should your audience care about?
  • What facts/developments do they need to be aware of?
  • What common assumptions/mistakes are made when trying to deal with this and why are they wrong?
  • Can you provide some examples of good and bad practices… – names, case studies, more names!
  • How do you propose this issue could be approached? Identify your evidence for suggesting this could work.
  • Map out the resistance you anticipate to your proposal, quote naysayers. Explain why you believe these naysayers to be wrong.
  • Summarise what you expect to achieve if your approach is followed.
  • Draft your introduction… and your conclusion.
NEARLY DONE…

Once you have your 1000+ words, take your draft to a colleague or your PR company, to review and provide constructive comment. For your key ‘Think Piece’, do not aim for a word count. You are aiming to produce a thoroughly researched, well argued, interestingly composed opinion that will provoke responses in thought, word or deed. And when you have done that – stop.

With your Think Piece done, your next challenge is to get your opinions out there!

For help on how to reach the right media outlets and audiences, don’t miss our Stage 3 article on Communication coming soon or request our full FREE guide on How to become a Thought Leader at [email protected]

If you have reached the end of the blog and you’re not sure you have the time to action this, contact us to do the heavy lifting for you [email protected].