Writing For Media Vs. Writing For Marketing: How Thought Leaders Can Successfully Pitch Ideas

Writing For Media Vs. Writing For Marketing: How Thought Leaders Can Successfully Pitch Ideas

Helen Croydon is an author and journalist turned PR professional and founder of Thought Leadership PR . getty An increasingly popular way to get media coverage for your business or your personal brand is by writing contributor articles for established media brands. Often, these pieces are referred to as thought leadership articles or guest blogs. Whatever you call them, if written well, they are a win-win for all involved. The person writing the article gets a mention and all the authority that goes with a byline. The editors at the publication get free content. And for public relations teams pitching their clients, it is an additional format for a coverage opportunity.

The rise of the contributor article is, for people seeking to get into media, a fortunate side effect of the decline in budgets for journalism. While editors have a smaller budget to pay freelance writers, they have a greater incentive to use contributors because not only are contributors willing to write articles for publicity rather than a fee, but contributors are also genuine experts with real-world experience. Journalists are great at reportage, but when it comes to a “how to” article on business strategy, an entrepreneur is often better informed.

But writing for media is a specific skill. It is very different from writing copy for marketing material. Many PR and marketing professionals may have received brilliant copywriting training. They know how to use certain emotional trigger words to attract their consumer audience and sell a product or service, but editors are often turned off by that approach.

Below I’ve highlighted two common writing mistakes I see people make when trying to get an article published in the media:

Your article isn’t relevant to a wider topical issue.

Unlike writing a blog for your website or a newsletter, where the goal is to communicate your messaging when writing for the media, editors want content to either inform (news story), opine (comment piece), explain (advice piece), analyze or entertain (a feature).

I was a journalist for 15 years before switching to personal PR, and I never once heard the phrase “messaging” in a newsroom. That’s a term used by marketing teams for branding, not for informing a wider public.

For example, say a journalist is writing a story about how artificial intelligence is transforming the workplace and they ask for experts in the industry to give a quote on the new skills employees of the future will need. A PR team may respond with messaging: “The growth of AI enables many tasks that have traditionally been performed by humans to be automated. However, this does not apply to all tasks. This is why our software helps teams optimize their human resources, which draw on their creative and team working skills such as innovation, enabling the company to meet customer success.” This may well get the client’s brand messaging across, but it is of no use to a journalist. Firstly, it is promotional — it doesn’t offer insight, explanation or opinion. Secondly, it states the […]

Full article on original website: www.forbes.com