Great media relations begins with great writing
You’ve read a lot on our blog this week about how to enhance media relations opportunities for your brand. Building strong relationships and understanding what the media covers are two of what I think the three main corner stones of a great media relations strategy.
What’s the third? I’m glad you asked. It’s writing. Really, really great writing.
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, knowing how to write and communicate a message well to the media is more than half the battle. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years that might be helpful for you and your team, if writing is an area you’re looking to improve:
1. Write like a journalist: we practice Associated Press (AP) style writing at Full Circle Public Relations. It’s one of the writing standards in the journalism industry, and we want to speak the language of the media we support. We encourage our team to write everything – from the emails and blog posts they write to the news releases and newsletters – in AP style. It helps ingrain the way of writing in your head if you just get used to writing that way all of the time.
2. Read great journalism: if you read great writing often enough, you start to mimic it. We read industry stalwarts like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, newspapers renowned for great journalism. We also try to read as many of the magazines in the industries our clients support to get an idea of the type of writing there. By regularly reading a variety of solid journalism, you should start to see an improvement in your own way of communicating.
3. Proof, edit, revise. Repeat: You might think you don’t need to proof your writing before you send it somewhere. But by taking the time to proof your work, edit for consistency and flow and revising your end product, you’d be surprised how much better your original message can end up sounding. Sure it might take a few extra minutes, but the end game will be much better. It’s also a good idea to have a colleague review important materials, too. Typos can allude even the most seasoned of eyes.
These are just a few tips to help you improve your writing skills, and will hopefully translate into more effective communications plans across the board. Great writing is important no matter if you’re talking to the media, your community or your employees.