How to write for the media
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How to write for the media

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Presentation by Danielle Davis, PR Manager, IPA at the Creative Pioneers Challenge Can-Start Optimiser Workshops on 5th November 2012 at the IPA.

Presentation by Danielle Davis, PR Manager, IPA at the Creative Pioneers Challenge Can-Start Optimiser Workshops on 5th November 2012 at the IPA.

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    How to write for the media How to write for the media Presentation Transcript

    • How to write forthe mediaDanielle Davies, IPA PR Manager Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What I will cover… Planning process for writing a press release/getting PR. What makes it ‘newsworthy’. How to write an effective press release. What if its not newsworthy/other vehicles for self-promotion. Building relationships with journalists. Maximising SEO in press releases/copy for the web. Email marketing. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Planning processfor writing pressreleases/gettingPR Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Planning process for writing a press release What is your objective? What is your key message? Who is your audience ? - and what is their level of knowledge? - and what action/reaction do you want to get from them? What publications do you want to appear in? Who are your key spokesmen? Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What makes itnewsworthy? Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What makes something ‘newsworthy’ What is new or different about it? Why is it relevant? Have you got ‘evidence’ to back it up i .e stats, case studies? How topical is it? Is there a human factor i.e personal experience or stories are powerful . Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What makes something ‘newsworthy’Ask yourself is it one of the following: The last or first. Revolutionary. Immediate or imminent. Controversial (journalists love bad news and anything out of the ordinary.) The biggest/highest/best. Historic - can it be compared. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What do journalists want…Quite simply journalists want a story that tells their audienceeither something new or something that will impact upon theirlives. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • How to write aneffective pressrelease Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Writing an effective press releaseStructuring it : Think of an inverted pyramid - start with the impact and then work backwards giving context. Remember before you start…think of your audience and your main message to them - what reaction do you want to get from them.? From this you create the headline which then sets the tone and content for the press release. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Writing an effective press releaseStructuring it The headline and the first paragraph are the most crucial things in your press release. Its about launching with key information, getting straight to the point with the conclusion first to get the light bulb response. It is about grabbing their attention straightaway this is your chance to ‘pitch’. You are not building drama like in conventional storytelling. If the reader doesn’t have it in the lead they won’t get to it. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Writing an effective press releaseStructuring it The second paragraph can continue with the impact if needed but the rest of the press release must then go into more depth on additional detail or background information you want to get across. Provide a quote from your key spokesmen .This reinforces your key message as set out by your headline and first paragraph. Quotes are usually at the end. Or following your first or second paragraph. Whatever fits best. One quote is best, no more than two. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • But keep your press release as brief as possible - one page isideal. Exceptions are when a very technical offering whichrequires explanation or an in-depth report. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Writing an effective press releaseGeneral rules: Relaxed writing style - as if you were summarising it to a friend whilst chatting at the pub . But keep it factual, you are providing information not opinion. Your quote from your key spokesman is the only opportunity for you to give your opinion. Always include your company website as a further means for promotion and to encourage backlinks (builds search ranking.) Always include your twitter feed to build up followers. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Writing an effective press releaseGeneral rules: Always assume your target journalist is time poor and not interested. Make it clear and easy to read. Always print it off and proof read to avoid spelling mistakes/ grammatical errors. Make a journalist’s job as easy as possible by providing all the contact numbers on the press release and in a prominent position. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • When it’s notnewsworthy Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What if it’s not newsworthyThere are other ways to make yourself visible. Being ‘proactively reactive’ or ‘piggybacking’… - send a letter in to a publication in response to another story you’ve read linking it back to your offering. - provide comment on online news stories, - be active on Twitter and LinkedIn. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What if it’s not newsworthyThere are other ways to make yourself visible. Offer yourself up as an ‘expert’ who is available for comment. Journalists have very short lead times so will use you again and again if you a reliable and quick to come back to them. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • What if it’s not newsworthyThere are other ways to promote your brand… Create a blog or add comment to others’. A profile piece on you and your business - think of your ‘hook’ to sell-in to a journalist– again what are you doing that is new or different? Writing an opinion piece around a theme linked to your industry. An in-depth feature typically 2-3 pages – again think of a key theme - journalists are always on the look out for help with new story ideas. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Buildingrelationshipswith journalists Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Building up relationships with journalistsMake yourself known to them… Follow journalists from your target publications on twitter. Send them a congratulatory email saying how much you enjoyed their latest article and why. If they respond tell them you’d love to help with any stories they have coming up in your area of specialism and send them a brief biog. Call them up on a regular basis to remind them you are available. Invite them to any launches you have. Offer to take them out for lunch. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Maximising SEO Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Maximising SEO Promotional copy for the web - the same rules apply as for writing a press release i.e start with the impact and work backwards. Old school thinking – put keywords everywhere in a piece of copy and so a balancing act between writing good copy and maximizing SEO. However Google has got smarter, using a complex algorithm to search the web for quality content. Repeating same word or phrase over and over will now put Google off. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Maximising SEO Google now likes natural humanised language and good compelling copy. Repeat key phrases or words but only up to 5% of a page of content. Phrases are better than words - decide on one or two maximum- think how people search which is not in single words. (But if single words must be strong and relevant.) Be specific with key phrase to create standout e.g Creative Pioneers Challenge rather than creative challenge. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Maximising SEO Use your key phrases in page titles, headings and subheadings. Key phrases should be as far forward in the copy as possible i.e headline/headings/first paragraph for Google to deem this relevant. Always imagine you are writing for a mobile device where the heading and first paragraph are key. Break text up into subheadings. Keep paragraphs short and copy punchy. It is all about not making the user work too hard. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Maximising SEO Send your press release to online databases specialising in ‘EPRs’ (electronic press releases) such as http://www.i- newswire.com or http://www.prnewswire.co.uk which will encourage backlinks crucial for SEO. Include links in your copy to other specific pages on your website rather than linking out. This will further help your site ranking. Avoid ‘click here’ rename it with a key phrase. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Maximising SEO Tag all images and links to pages. ALT tags for images i.e when you mouse over an image there is helpful text explaining what it is, include ‘TITLE’ tags for links. Ultimately Google only wants to link to good copy relevant to the search term. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Email marketing Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • Email marketingThe same rules apply… The headline is critical. Followed by the first paragraph. Imagine you are writing for a mobile device - keep it as concise and punchy as possible. Your audience is time poor. Avoid making the reader work too hard. Avoid Monday and Friday for sending out email alerts. Most optimal time is 11am or 3pm. Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012
    • How to write forthe media Creative Pioneers Can-Start Optimiser Workshops 5th November 2012