Many small and new companies find it difficult to market their own products and services. While they know they need publicity, the cost and unmeasurable nature of getting an article written – let alone published – often prevents them from doing anything to promote themselves.
Yet, editorial is worth much more than an advertisement, and putting the word about through articles (or PR) is much simpler than you may imagine. Today you have more than one way of publicising your business. Here we concentrate on traditional media, such newspapers and magazines.
All newspapers and magazines have spaces to fill. The more frequently they publish, the more frequent is their need to fill space. And journalists are happy if someone provides them with ready-made, easy-to-use, cut-and-paste articles which they can slot seamlessly into their publications.
Remember also that editors are the gatekeepers for their readers, and the reader is your prospective customer.
1) Think about your target audience. If you send your story to the local newspaper the content will be slightly different than when you write for trade magazines. Local newspapers need local angle, whereas trade publications need à more commercial line.
2). Make the start and finish of the article memorable, just like writing a good essay.. Editors are busy people and will often skip from the first to the last paragraph.
3) Write your story in clear, logical sequences, so that one point follows another, and encourages the reader (the Editor) to read on.
4) Make your points simply and clearly. Copywriters have an acronym KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid.
5) Keep it short. The acronym might just as well read ‘Keep it Short, Stupid’. Don’t write too much – if you can fit your words on one sheet of A4, so much the better. While there are 7 tips for you in this article, Editors and readers usually need 3 points max in your article.
6) Remember to include something about your personal story is part of your business story.
7) You need a good headline at the top of the article to grab the editor’s attention. But only write this when you have drafted your story.
Headlines with a number of tips or ‘How to …’ or personal calls to action work best. In this article, I wrote my general draft, edited it, and then decided to turn it into 7 tips – a natural headline.
But the headline could well have been either ‘Get your stories published’ or ‘How to persuade editors to use your story’.
Writing articles for the traditional press represents one step in building your story, your brand and your reputation.
Read more here about the value of your personal story and another article about online writing on the world wide web.
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