So you’ve blown away your media contact with an incredible pitch for a story featuring your client. She thinks it’s perfect and will work great for her magazine or website.
The next step is to meet the mark. Great writing speaks for itself and while it can often be a time-consuming process, producing a great story is that final step to building a long-lasting relationship with the media.
Three words: Make it personal.
Whether it’s a news website, a lifestyle magazine or a fashion blog, before you even put words to paper, research the publication you’re working with.
It’s never a good idea to take shortcuts by writing a story that can be sent to five different publications. No one wants to publish a story that’s clearly been written to suit any old website or magazine.
Take the time to gain a firm grasp on the tone of the publication by browsing or flicking through articles published in the past. Also, take note of how long published stories generally seem to be and what format they take on.
Showing that you can deliver a story that fits seamlessly with the publication is the perfect way of showing your contact that the story you’ve written is tailored just for them.
It’s so easy to skip this step and quickly type up a story when you have an endless pile of work to churn through, but no one is going to think well of your client (much less think of them at all) if you’re writing just another bland story.
Researching your topic is key!
No one is expecting you to be an accredited expert in order to write an informative article, and you certainly don’t need to be. For starters, try to incorporate useful facts and advice your targeted audience might not be aware of. This could be an interesting statistic or a useful tip – the importance is to find information that most readers probably don’t already know.
Give your topic a quick Google and browse through what others have written about the same or similar topics. The more you read, the more interesting points or angles you’ll find that can help give your story a touch of inspiration.
Story-writing for PR practitioners often brings out our PR tendency to promote our client’s brand.
Unfortunately, this comes head to head with every publication’s natural instinct to protect their work from being too advertorial.
So that both sides can ultimately get what they want, your story needs to walk the fine line between promoting your client’s brand and simply writing a great article.
There’s no smoother way of doing this than letting your writing do all the talking. For starters, make sure that the topic you’re writing about is something your client can actually provide more information on. This way, if readers want to learn more, they will be able to naturally refer to your client’s website without you needing to sell this to them.
At the end of the day, every publication’s number one interest is to give their readers stories that they enjoy.
So be interesting!
Keep count of how often you’re using the same words. There’s only so many times the word ‘spontaneous’ can be used before it starts to lose its spontaneity.
Once you finish writing, take a step back and look at your work as a whole. Make sure you’ve broken down the structure into short paragraphs rather than large chunks of unwinding text.
Make sure you’re not just blindly squeezing a whole bucketload of facts into every second sentence. You’re writing for an audience that wants to read something interesting – not just to be educated.