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.


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

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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.

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 info@ec-pr.com

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 info@ec-pr.com.

What Cybersecurity Editors want from PRs | Tech PR

What Cybersecurity Editors want from PRs | Tech PR

What do editors want from cybersecurity PRs?

If you want to get more out of your cybersecurity PR and news stories, this article will tell you how.  We interviewed three industry journalists to find out what they valued most and least from cybersecurity press releases.
ec-pr.com Cybersecurity editors journalists want from PC

Here’s what Tom Allen, Special Projects Editor at Computing, V3, and The Inquirer, Tony Morbin, Editor-in-Chief of SC Magazine and Dan Raywood, Contributing Editor of Infosecurity Magazine had to say.

 

1. What makes a good security story?

The rules for a good security story are simple according to Dan at Infosecurity Magazine: “Something that engages the reader, seeks to tell a story and is well written and researched.”

ec-pr.com Tony Morbin Editor-in-chief SC MagazineTony at SC magazine told us that: “When choosing which story to follow up, we try to pick the one that will have the biggest impact on the reader in terms of doing their job better, helping their company or their career.” He went on to say: “Our audience targets cyber security professionals, so we are not looking for advice to consumers.”  Tony also looks for new, insightful, attributable comment.  “We want quotable quotes, i.e. not what everyone else has already said” and by attributable, he means the full name and job title of the person being quoted.

ec-pr.com Tom Allen Special Projects Editor at Computing, V3, and The InquirerTom at Computing says:The most interesting stories, aside from those about something going wrong, are always the ones that involve a new use of technology, whether it’s a brand-new approach or an innovative use of existing systems.” He finds it frustrating when people don’t explain properly why a certain technology, such as AI, has been used or what is important about it and what benefit it will bring to security that other solutions don’t.

In most instances, the media want board level contributors – ideally not a sales or marketing executive who can make readers feel that they are being sold to.  This is because editorial is about sharing information and knowledge, while provoking discussion and debate.

At ec-pr, our rule of thumb is that a story needs to introduce something new with a clearly articulated benefit and it should only be sent to press with an expressed interest in the subject matter. Stories should always be well-researched and written in a way that is engaging to the reader.

 

2. Why do some ‘great’ stories sometimes fail to be published?

Over the past 20+ years, we have never once failed to get press coverage for a story. Our process for researching, writing and securing approvals is robust – this is rooted in deep professional respect for both our clients and our press contacts.  However, Tom tells us that some great-sounding stories arrive in his inbox incomplete and even when he asks for further details, he gets no response or an unusable one.  He firmly believes that where subject knowledge is concerned “a little really does go a long way – any journalist will respect their PR contact more if they can discuss a press release with them instead of hearing the dreaded words, “Let me get back to you on that.”

Tom also says that slow response times can kill a story.

“Occasionally, answers to my questions come back within an hour; at other times I’ve waited days, by which time the story is old news. There’s often a reason for it, but journalists need to be informed if there’s a significant delay so that we can find another source.”

3. What could PR people do more of to help you produce interesting content?

An editorial campaign should include a variety of content types including news, thought leadership, comment, blogs and case studies.  Case studies are particularly prized by the media and as such, are often the hardest to secure in any depth.

Tony commented that, in addition to providing the basics (who, what, why, when, where and how), providing detailed narrative on why something is important will help a story to stand out, especially if your story is one of several on the subject. He also points out that a good picture can sell a story.

ec-pr Dan Raywood Contributing Editor, Infosecurity Magazine

Dan makes an interesting point about the number of journalists being such that they are usually busy with the work they need to, so following up on all of the other opportunities offered to them is just not possible.

So, our take on this is that partially formed, poorly thought-out ideas are simply not going to get a look in.


4. What are the most common mistakes people make when approaching you?

Over the years, we have learnt that telephoning journalists to ask if they’ve received a press release is a waste of everyone’s time, but Tom’s experience surprised even us. He told us that PRs phone him

“Just to read off the first paragraph from a press release and then ask if they can send the PR to me: instant turn off. Don’t do it.”

Being accurate is critical to the credibility of journalism.  Journalists check their stories and expect press releases to be accurate in the information they share, so Tony’s confession is understandable: “We make mistakes, but we get really annoyed when PRs make the mistakes for us, then send us a correction, asking us to change something they previously sent.”

Tony gives a valuable heads-up: “A big mistake is not putting the most important/interesting thing at the front.  E.g. “Everyone at MYbank has had £100 stolen from them”, rather than, “New research has been published by leading global cyber security company LockupmyData, conducted by the highly regarded Whatsitallabout research company as a result of face to face interviews with 6,000 cyber security professionals last year. The findings show that Lockupmydata is rated reliable by 49 percent of respondents”… then mention the £100 three paras later…  We do want all those other details, but we want to know why we should be interested.”

Dan’s ‘common mistake’ is more fundamental and perhaps less forgivable

“usually not knowing what we actually cover or what we and our audience look for.”

My take out from these conversations is that cybersecurity journalists remain busy, inquisitive and professional people.  They need fully formed, well written and engaging material combined with informed and responsive communication.  If you are tardy in dealing with the press you can expect your media profile to languish, but treat journalists with the same professional respect as you would any other business colleague and you’ll reap some impressive rewards.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn.

Defence – Customer Magazine Case Study

Defence – Customer Magazine Case Study

DEFENCE –
CUSTOMER MAGAZINE

Producing high-quality, authoritative content that makes compelling reading

Requirement

Focus is the customer magazine for the BMT group of companies, a global multi-disciplinary maritime engineering consultancy, serving clients in the energy, transport and defence sectors. Produced twice a year it requires vibrant thought provoking material based around a central theme.

Plan

For each issue EC-PR takes responsibility for developing a compelling theme and identifies authoritative contributors, both internal and external, to invited to participate. The team then takes responsibility for drafting all the editorial from interview and secured all relevant approvals before submitting to BMT Group.

Outcome

“ I know I can trust them to drive action forward and they not only come up with great ideas for content, but deliver well written articles based on their interviews with our staff, partners and clients.”

Jenni Williamson

Group Marketing Manager, BMT Group

What is B2B PR?

What is B2B PR?

In this article, Lorraine Emmett addresses the most commonly asked questions about B2B PR; what it is, what it’s for, how PR adds value and how to evaluate whether it’s doing a good job. What is PR and where does B2B PR fit in? What should you expect from your Public...

GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE

Being in the right place at the right time… We will deliver feature length coverage to your target press… or your money back.