Proofing Your Public Relations Message
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
The newsletter story, industry article or Facebook feed that’s an endless blather of self-congratulatory product points. You may not be expecting “War & Peace” over your a.m. coffee read, but you surely deserve better than a marketing brochure.
So, how do you make sure YOUR company writing doesn’t fall victim to the same “me marketing” blather? There’s a three-part litmus test, plus a digital pocket of handy social tools to pinch-proof your thinking.
The Need-Like-Love Pinch Test
It’s true. We’re all human, and as such, I believe there’s three key things to keep in mind when writing for humans:
· We need to be educated
· We like to be in-the-know
· We love to be entertained
If your writing meets one of these three standards, you can safely bet that you’re out of the “marketing blather” territory and firmly on “great writing” solid ground.
Need to be Educated
Let’s take “education,” for starters. We all need to learn, and to keep up to date with the world and our industry. Will your reader come away having learned something? Ideally, it’s related to your industry or expertise, but it is not an information piece on your product or solution. If you’re in the payments industry, an informative look at the impact of digital wallets is a great topic. The fact that your payments solution is available on a trial basis is not.
Like to be in the Know
In-the-Know: no one wants to be left out of the loop. If you’ve got some news to share, or something that is material to your company that is safe, and timely, to get out to the public, that’s fair game. The next industry trend, the great new statistic, who doesn’t want to be the person with the scoop? And, if you’re reaching out to a journalist, the in-the-know news is the catnip-scoop they’ll find hard to resist.
Love…Those Cat Videos!
Entertained: there’s a reason cute cat videos are the top-searched item on the web. We’re humans, and we like to be engaged. If you can bring a fresh voice, a bit of humor, or, well, think carefully about deploying a cat video – you could get upstaged. But entertaining news and insight is a great way to get your audience engaged while you get your point across.
Journalists, Social Sharing & the Trend Tools
The other way to dial-in your message so you’re in-synch and sympatico with your community is to dive into the social stream, and double-check journalists’ trending topics. Why? Journalist coverage and social trends are reflectors; they show us what we’re interested in and engaged about in today’s fast moving communications world. The following is a short-list of tools you can use to see what’s going on in social and journalist writing worlds:
Pinch Test: Social Tool Box
The Word Samurai to have in your corner when you want to see the social trends
your virtual journalist coffee shop. See what they’re thinking and writing about
If it’s happening on social, it’ll be mentioned here
Stay on top of breaking news about your company, key terms and industry
I know I’ve mentioned some of these tools in previous posts, but…I can’t help it! I want to save you (and me, selfishly) from writing that fails the Pinch Test.
Being in sync with trending topics, the top issues journalists are writing about, and keeping the Need – Like – Love formula top of mind is critical to success.
Want to know more? Feel free to find me on Twitter (@Pam_A), or reach out by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone: 503.298.9749.