In today’s fast-changing PR world, new tools and tactics are inducing practitioners to change their approach.
Gone are the days when writing a press release produces your desired result.
Here are today’s three most relevant PR writing styles and why we love them:
1. News/brand journalism style
When: To tell your brand’s story in a credible and engaging way, brand journalism is a favorite.
How to approach it: Writing in this style means understanding “news value” as it applies to a brand. Recognize what your target audience cares about. Skilled brand journalists seamlessly combine journalistic storytelling principles with elements of strategic communication. To master this style, you must understand when a story is right for brand journalism and when it’s simply too commercial. Credible brand journalists can transform a company initiative into a compelling story with real news value for its target audience.
Why we love it: Consumers are accustomed to journalistic content in practically every news outlet, which makes this approach credible. This tactic can hold its own alongside stories written by the top global news organizations, resulting in a boost in credibility and reach.
2. Lifestyle writing, such as listicles, quizzes and other non-traditional copy
When: If you’re looking for an engaging, non-traditional way to promote your brand, this one is spot on.
How to approach it: Lifestyle writing for PR is a chance to have fun. If your story lends itself to bullet points and small nuggets of information, consider a listicle. A quiz lets you associate your brand with something engaging, such as a movie or iconic character. For inspiration, look at examples such as MediaSource’s quiz. (This reveals which brand journalist you are most like.) A great resource for creating a quiz is Playbuzz. As with any type of content, write with specific goals in mind, including brand engagement.
Why we love it: Lifestyle content drives the ultimate watercooler talk and is frequently shared.
3. Expert blogs written in first person
When: A meaningful blog post can position your brand as an industry leader without its looking like a commercial.
How to approach it: Determine which leaders in your organization are media-friendly, and stay up to date on their specialties. Be sure your prose captures the expert’s voice in an authentic way. Consistent posting is important, too. Build internal trust by sharing placements and success stories. Your valued sources will be motivated to feed you a steady flow of ideas and information.
Why we love it: Expert blogs are an effective way to amplify your brand in a way that your audience will find trustworthy and credible.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.