Getting into the press may be an excellent way to raise your company’s profile, but finding good stories for regular press releases is tough – and there is never any guarantee of getting published.
However, putting a good article full of information that your ideal client will find useful into their trade journal is not as hard as you might think. You may need to make a few phone calls or send some emails to find out where the opportunities are, but, if you can deliver a good article, there’s the potential for getting more items published in the future.
What should you write about?
Your article needs to engage the reader – ideally, those readers who would make great clients for you. If you have clients that already like what you do, they’re an ideal source of content.
What do your clients want to know?
You should know the answer to that question, but think carefully. What you want to tell people and what they actually want to know about your business are not always the same.
However, there are probably plenty of questions that your clients do ask about your products or services, almost always in relation to how that will work for them. These are not the simple things that might feature on an FAQ section, but the more in-depth questions.
Focus on added value
- How does your product or service help your clients? What are the benefits they get from it? How does it add value for their business?
- What does your product or service offer that people don’t always know about?
- What advice do you find you often give to clients?
These are all excellent subjects for an article.
Tone and style
Never write for a publication that you’ve never read. Read two or three issues before attempting to write for a new publication. What you write will need to fit with the other items so the reader feels comfortable.
However, within those parameters, aim to write conversationally, use straightforward language and the active tense so your article has life and energy. You don’t want to submit a bland, wordy, article – the editor won’t thank you for it and, even if they’ve indicated an interest it may not get published.
If you haven’t written an article for publication before (and even if you have) a plan is always a good place to start.
List the points you want to make, note any anecdotal evidence relating to each point or examples you want to add, then write using the plan as your structure.
Stick to short (3-5 line) paragraphs and sentences that don’t run to more than two lines.
Always ask how many words the editor would like – and stick to it. You won’t win any prizes for delivering 500 words when you’ve been given a word count of 400 words. The more articles you write, the better you’ll get at getting your message into the word allocation.
The key point
Read your article when you’re finished and ask yourself ‘Will this give my clients information they want?’ If the answer is ‘no’ – back to the drawing board!!