Getting your news heard by the right people is harder than ever before: these days everyone is a publisher with something to say. But there are some easy strategies you can keep in mind:
1. Don’t forget the inverted news pyramid
Throw your old school essay writing rules away and start with your conclusion. Kick off with the most important detail for your audience, the who, what, where, when and how, and build from there with supporting facts, stats, evidence and quotes – like an inverted pyramid.
2. Think benefits, not features
Yes, you’ve just introduced a new AI-powered rivet. You’re the first in the market to launch. You’ve spent a fortune researching the next best customer service tool. But, so what? How does it benefit your audience? Why does it a difference to their lives? Why should they care?If you keep in mind the ‘why should they care?’ filter you immediately increase your chances of coverage because you’ll frame the story through your audience’s news needs rather than your facts.
3. Make headlines count
Your headline makes or breaks whether your story will be noticed in that sea of 150 news releases. The best headlines are pithy, punchy, paint a picture and leave their audience hungry for more. Humour, questions, surprising facts, counter intuition, puns and benchmarking are great devices to grab attention.And always bear in mind the channel you’re writing for: your copy should fit well into the media landscape you’re targeting, so read plenty and make sure you’re familiar with lots of different styles.
4. Make sure your quote gets used
When you’re writing news, you need to careful not to oversell or lapse into advertising-style speak. This can be hard when you have commercial messages you need to convey. Quotes can be a great way to land sales messages which can be hard to weave into editorial copy. Make sure quotes really count by adding something new: you need to be wary of running out of steam and just summarising the story. Keep back an interesting stat, fact, solution or personal insight for your quote. And the acid test to whether it will be used? Say it out loud. Does it sound natural and engaging? Or does it sound contrived and key message laden?
Maria Greaves is co-founder of So What?, a training agency helping teams and businesses with their copywriting. So What? is a member of Brighton Chamber. For more on Brighton Chamber events, visit www.businessinbrighton.org.uk