It's easy to put together a copy or press release, but doing so can make it easy to overlook some bad writing habits. Here are some ways PR and communications professionals can get in the way of effectively getting their message across, along with some advice on how to change it.
Getting organized is one of the most popular new years or birthday resolution. Chaos regularly leads to more chaos. If you're feeling tired or worn out, being organized can help with your daily workflow and overall mental health.
How to fix:
- Create a plan. Download the Content Calendar to plan ahead for important dates and events.
- Write the summary of the story. Do you need to write a press release but don't know where to start? Start by listing the information you need to add. (These press release templates are a good place to start, or use this infographic—the (almost) excellent anatomy of a press release—as a guide.) Creating an outline will help you organize your thoughts. It can lay the foundation for writing more specific sentences. . .
- Find great apps and tools. In addition to these organizational tools, there are many other sites and programs that may be useful at any stage of your writing process.
- Create a checklist. If you are a checklist person then every morning create a to-do list for the day. It helps you prioritize and make sure you don't forget what's important. For communicators, a press release checklist helps ensure that all key elements have been processed before hitting the "send" button.
- Too many terms
Writing clearly and concisely is important to PR professionals for two very important reasons. First, the easier your writing is to read (and the quicker you get to the point), the more people will pay attention to it. Second, and perhaps more importantly, if your writing looks like a marketing brochure, one in two people will read your entire email. It may be blocked.
Using more natural language also brings SEO benefits. Users are more likely to use natural language in their search terms. So write it for your users and show your content higher in search results.
How to fix:
- Understand best practices. Avoid using more jargon in your writing.
- Get the right tool. Use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway to figure out where your writing needs to be simplified.
- Read the draft aloud. Reading your writing out loud is a great way to catch mistakes, confusing phrases, and overly long sentences. You cannot read clearly unless you hear it out loud and naturally.
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- Too much passive voice
The passive voice is when the subject is the recipient of the verb’s action. For example, a passive that editors despise is active, and a passive that editors despise is passive. Editors tend to prefer a clearer, more direct and active voice.
You might be tempted to use the passive voice because it sounds fancy, but just like using too many jargon, too much passive voice can alienate those who might want to cover your story. I do not advocate cutting the passive voice 100% from your writing.
How to fix:
Get help from the tool. WordPress plugins like Yoast, Grammarly and Outwrite can help identify examples of passive voice and suggest ways to fix them.
- Not thinking about SEO
Your writing may be great, but if you ignore SEO basics, you're missing out on an opportunity to draw more attention to your brand story. If search engines don't have a clear idea of ​​what your story is about, why you're telling it, and who your target audience is, it's less likely that your news will show up in search results.
How to fix:
- Start from the beginning. If you're unsure about SEO best practices and how to use them in your communications, download Beginner's Guide to PR and SEO.
- Write optimized headlines. Your headline is the first (and sometimes only) thing your readers will see. Follow headline writing tips the next time you write a press release.
- Understand formatting best practices. The structure of your press release plays a role in capturing the reader's attention. Download an infographic with tips for creating a (nearly perfect) press release that gets your message across.
- Keep voice search in mind. Content creators can no longer ignore the importance of voice search for SEO and organic search. There are several strategies that can help optimize your digital content to compete in search and increase organic traffic.
- Take a backup. Keeping track of all the changes in SEO and Google algorithms can be difficult. Tools like Yoast can help flag SEO problems on your page and suggest ways to better manage them. You can also keep up with the latest industry news and best practices by subscribing to SEO newsletters like Search Engine Roundtable.
- Use 360PRLive: It is a Narrow AI or ANI based tool used for Psychographic advertising. 360PRLive analyzes the keywords our customers submit with each press release, analyzes the geographic targeting region specific and the target audience details such as age, gender and interests (view our distribution partners and submit press releases for free by booking a demo) . It maps out the most relevant distribution methodology and enhances the Psychographic geotargeting ensuring a wider audience and a greater digital footprint of your affordable press release distribution.
- Quick editing
We are all pressed for time, understaffed, or both. Or maybe you've read the news over and over and are convinced you've got it all wrong. However, it is very important that you allow enough time to fully proof your speech or press release. Typing mistakes can destroy your credibility in the eyes of stakeholders.
How to fix:
- Learn how to edit yourself. Read the tips for editing your work to be confident in your final draft.
- Read your pitch or press release out loud. Yes, reading aloud is another bad habit solution. This exercise changes everything. useful.
- Don't read enough
To inspire and improve your press release writing, you need to see what else is out there. Make it your mission to find out what journalists in your industry are writing about and ask yourself questions to determine the type of content you want. What stories do they cover? What tone do they use? Do they always include multimedia?
Check out how other best writers are creating content to connect with their readers, and earn bonus points. You may find unique story angles to pitch to influencers and journalists.
How to fix:
- Get all newsletters: Sign up for industry newsletters to find out what our reporters are covering and what's trending. For example, PR Week has a variety of daily and weekly newsletters that provide industry news, trending stories and best practices for PR professionals to follow.
- Know the best sites. Whether you work in tech, food, or finance, you'll find reputable news sites full of compelling stories in your industry. Check out roundup of top news sites and start reading to find sites and writers you can recommend.
- Subscribe to niche blogs. Small magazines that focus on more specific topics are a great place to find unique writing with a personal touch. Readers and writers are also passionate. Regular blog profiles recognize outstanding blogs covering topics from coffee to horror movies to electric cars to pet grooming. Stay informed about trending topics while adding relevant bloggers to your media contacts list.
Listen to podcasts. It's not reading, but adding podcasts to the content you consume can help you develop a natural ear for language to help you write. Remember, if your sentences don't sound natural, you may be in trouble.