It’s noisy out there, in the B2B marketing world.
From the largest multinationals to the smallest independents and SMEs, every business is looking to amplify its messaging and reach key decision-makers to drive sales.
Of course, with increased noise, it becomes harder for a brand to cut through the static and get their messages and value propositions across sharply, crisply and clearly.
That’s where the benefits of a dedicated B2B marketing communications partner like PHD Marketing shine.
Press releases shared with trade publications remain one of the most effective ways to connect directly with customers and prospects, as well as the wider market. Plus, it’s always great to have journalists on side! Great coverage rates can strengthen brand reputation and put fresh eyes on a business, which makes it an enduring format of communications.
However, with hot competition vying for the attention of industry magazines, not every article can take the spotlight. We know that a press release should be:
…but how can a corporate news piece be lifted and enhanced into something more? How can we use language and writing to create an article that captures the eye in a crowded inbox?
In the latest #AskPHD blog, we asked our talented PR and content team – experts in pulling the essence of a brand story to the forefront – for their top tips.
“Press releases are also called ‘news stories’, and it’s helpful to think of them in terms of a story! Use a narrative structure to draw readers from the top of the piece to the bottom.
The truth is that the raw details of a story can potentially be quite dry, particularly with more technical pieces. It’s how you embellish those details that makes them memorable, so organically feeding those details into a story that logically flows from one point to the next means they’ll really stick in your readers’ heads!
Like any good story, you also need to introduce some characters! People invest in people, so packing quotes with some more emotional or evocative language helps break up long passages of information and makes your key messaging easier to digest.”
Andy, Account Director
“For me, it’s just about staying true to the old adage of “Keep it simple, stupid!”
Before you get lost in linguistic gymnastics, crowbarring in today’s buzzwords or the latest trending talking points, be sure to stay on message.
In any B2B communication, it’s vital to be clear on your own objectives – what do you want to achieve with the marcomms gold you’re spinning, and what are the key points you need to get across?
Remember the big 5 questions to address:
WHAT is the product/service that’s gotten us all so excited?
WHY is it so new/innovative/exciting, and why must the reader immediately need to know more?
HOW will this new amazingness affect the reader (customer)?
WHERE can they find out more?
WHEN can they click the all-important “buy now” button?
Once you’ve looked after the basics, feel free to wax lyrical and inject some personality in there…but only when you’ve covered the basics!”
Rebecca, Account Manager
“Always offer proof points where possible. Quotes highlighting the success, key stats or figures that back up what you’re saying or the demand for your new product or service.
Have a testimonial? Even better.
Not only does this support your piece, but it makes it more relatable and adds a human element to your press release.”
Adam, Account Manager
“It may sound basic, but always aim for short and simple. No one wants to be reading through paragraphs of waffle to get to the interesting part of your press release!
Journalists are busy people; the more succinctly you can convey your message, the more likely you are to get coverage. Don’t be afraid to cut a sentence if it’s not adding any value.
This approach extends to how you structure your press release. The first sentence should tell readers the essential parts of the story, and by the fourth paragraph they should know everything they need to. Keep your paragraphs short and punchy: set a word limit for them (around 25 is perfect) and stick to it.”
Colette, Senior Copywriter
“There’s plenty of great advice here on putting together an impactful press release, but what happens afterwards? The last thing you want is your story to hit a journalist’s inbox and not get the coverage you expected.
A press release is more than just the story, it’s about building a connection with a journalist over time – and doing so without hounding them! If you want your story to be covered in their latest magazine, start looking for opportunities to connect with them on another level.
For example, perhaps your news story really fits into a feature they are planning, or maybe offer an email interview with the CEO for added value. Think about your press release’s positioning and be willing to meet them halfway. Journalists respect those who respect them – and their deadlines!”
Maryke, Senior Copywriter
“In the face of a constantly evolving communications industry, good PR is still built on these fundamental principles:
Telling stakeholders what they NEED to hear instead of what they WANT to hear.
Fostering brand support through relevant and candid communication to selected channels.
Excellent idea generation, coupled to adaptability and flexibility – especially for crisis communication.
A good PR gets picked up because as story has been told well to the right people.”
James, Account Manager
“It may seem counterintuitive, but you need to start by picturing the end goal. Put yourself in the shoes of somebody who has never heard of your client or their product/service.
Combine purpose with long and short-term goals. Then you can determine the most compelling angle and weave in sales messaging in a way that drives action.
Find your purpose for writing a PR. Why does this merit a news release? Why would a journalist or editor find it newsworthy? Find an angle that will interest the public.
Don’t overload your press release with too many themes and complex messaging. And don’t waste them either! They are best used sparingly, like an impact substitute you can call on for that last-minute winner. It can be very tempting to write/issue too many when you’re on a good run of coverage.
Your press release needs to be a strategic prize-fighter in a crowded inbox. So, if the interesting part is halfway down, forget it. This isn’t a long article with time to unfold – you need to find the bit that your audience cares about the most and make it the very first thing you say.”
Jo, Head of Production
“Everyone knows what it’s like to have their inboxes clogged up with irrelevant emails. Journalists know that feeling more than most! If they start ignoring or, worse, unsubscribing from your news releases because they’re not relevant, you’re limiting the potential coverage of all your stories going forward.
Carefully curate your distribution lists to help maximise the potential of every press release by ensuring they’re targeted with surgical precision. You can target based on market sectors, location, or both. Smaller, highly focused lists are much more effective than huge scattergun ones.”
We’ve shared some great advice for enhancing your press release messaging – but what’s even easier? Have a professional, dedicated team like PHD do it for you!
Looking to uplift your brand’s marketing communications through the art of a consistent brand voice? Don’t settle for messaging that’s less than sharp and clear – let the PHD team take the lead!
To learn more about the benefits of working with Marketing by PHD for your brand’s marketing and communications needs, speak to our friendly team today at [email protected]