We’re watching a disturbing trend develop: business people are self-publishing promotional content with disastrous results. You may not even realize that you’re making these very common mistakes. But to PR pros, they stick out like flashing neon signs. When we sit down with clients and point out these blunders, the “aha moments” come almost immediately.
Here are the two of the biggest blunders we see over and over:
1. Content not designed to generate sales. We’ve seen promotional content filled with features and benefits, but don’t speak to the desires of their target audiences. Your content should clearly communicate not only why people should buy (they’ll feel happier and younger as they drive around town in their sexy new sports car) but also help them to justify their purchase (this car gets remarkable gas mileage and your dealership offers a money-saving maintenance package).
2. Content that is so self-serving that it’s turning people away. Just as consumers are savvy about ads, if they get the sense that you’re trying to sell them a product, they will close you down pretty quickly.
How can you avoid these blunders? Use a filter! Reporters and producers are the absolute best filters. They know what their audiences will accept, and they won’t settle for anything less. That’s why getting your story published in the news can be so difficult. But that’s also why having your story published in the news is so valuable! It gives you third-party credibility and affirmation, and it puts you directly in front of highly receptive audiences.
Writing content that will please the media gatekeepers is a rigorous process. We have the advantage. We work with the media daily, and we know what’s newsworthy. We get our clients mentioned in news stories because we help reporters and producers co-produce the news.
Once you’ve got content that the media deems to be newsworthy, you can re-purpose all or parts of it on your website, in email blasts, on your blog, in social media and in other promotions.
If you want these writers and media pros as part of your marketing team, call me at 612-798-7220 to get started.