PR means many things to many people, but today we’re talking editorial coverage – words in newspapers and magazines – or on websites and blogs… those short eye-catching news pieces or lovely long articles which showcase all the benefits you offer to your prospective customers.
Anyone can write a news release, or even a feature article; can’t they? Let’s face it, it you can string a sentence together, then you can write a page or two; can’t you? Well yes. But the hard part is getting it right so your material gets published.
It goes without saying, your news releases and articles need to be well-written and properly structured – which can be hard enough in themselves – but there are some other fundamentals which can make or break your chances too.
Here’s 7 commonly encountered pitfalls and how you can avoid them:
Choosing the wrong outlets… it’s a common mistake. Is your PR really getting to your target audience, or possibly just to other members of your own industry (including competitors?). Use your buyer personas to find out where your prospects go for information!
Getting your timings wrong… you don’t want your news to be old news by the time it’s published. So what lead-times do you need to build in to your PR activity? Also be careful that information isn’t published too soon. You need to be ready to act on any leads you get in response.
Missing deadlines… just DON’T! No matter how good your timing is, if you leave an Editor with empty pages to fill, you’re unlikely to be asked to contribute again. Deadlines are crucial in PR.
Ignoring editorial guidelines… they may seem unnecessary or irrelevant to you, but they’re important to the publication; check any you’re not sure of and try to comply – it’s less hassle for everyone involved!
Not checking your spelling and grammar… because if you always get it right then a) it creates a much better ‘first impression’ and b) your material will be easier to use. If a magazine publishes articles with grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, they will get stick in return and they won’t feature you again.
Waffling on… avoid 10 words when 5 would do; make your copy engaging and easy-to-read; and don’t just write what you want to write: think about what your audience wants too.
Submitting poor photographs… why show your company in a bad light? Good photographs entice people to read on, make your company look good and will hopefully even sell your products for you too!
Of course, the easiest way to avoid all these pitfalls, and more, is to have a professional PR agency do it for you… you know where we are!
Remember, if you – or your PR agency – make an Editor’s life easier, then your material is more likely to be used, which can only be good for your company’s market profile.
To discuss your PR opportunities, or to find out what other Content Marketing we can assist with, get in touch with the Juicy Team today!
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