America’s got talent-ed content writers (or maybe not)

Do you have the feeling that your content writing is always in the audition mode, without knowing if it is on the right track or worthy of star status? Or you are writing to an audience that just doesn’t care, or worse yet doesn’t like your content? Digital marketing and SEO rules have made it even more challenging for you to win the hearts of your target audience. As you might practice before a big audition, content writers have a process to follow to ensure that their writing pleases the judges.

To win the content competition, differentiate yourself by writing media-grade content for all of your owned, shared and paid promotional channels. That means that the content written for your blog, website and collateral materials must meet the same stringent standards as your press releases and pre-written articles. Writing with the media judges in mind will help your content  always take center stage. Without it, your content may never win the competition or your target audience’s attention. Writing media-grade content takes talent!

Media-grade content is written from the media’s perspective. It passes journalists’ litmus tests. It is interesting, substantive, worthy of your audience’s time and relevant to their lives. This lens improves the impact of your marketing content, and gives your audience more reasons to engage with you.

All media-grade content that is ready to be a star has two essential elements:

  1. A hook: The story has to attract the reader’s interest. The hook can be something about the topic, the company the product or a problem faced by the target audience.
  2. Impact: If what you’re writing about isn’t significant to your audience, there is no reason for them to care. The greater the consequence, the more compelling your story will be.

Media-grade content is contagious. When done right, it can extend your reach, because it has all of the elements of a well-researched, third-party article. People are more willing to run it, post it, share it and link to it.

Wowing your audiences with the media-grade essentials is a good place to start but there are more elements to consider. To make sure your content wins the competition, use this checklist to ensure a good impression is made with the media and ultimately, your target audience.

A checklist for writing content that earns you center stage

In addition to the above elements, here are other ways to ensure that your content rises to the level of media-grade:

  • It uses accurate facts and statistics to illustrate the problem or issue.
  • It offers tools, solutions and/or advice for resolving the identified problem, beyond whatever product or service you are promoting.
  • It builds to an “aha” moment.
  • Where relevant, it ties into hot news topics, upcoming events or the community.
  • It is not heavily commercialized.
  • It has a feel-good close that loops back to the problem established at the beginning.

Above all else, remember that people are moved to action by emotions, not facts. As you perfect the art of writing strong, media-grade content, keep in mind that if you are not excited by your content, chances are excellent that your readers won’t be either.

Our writers at Media Relations love what they do, and it shows in the caliber of their work. We’d be happy to talk with you about your content and publicity needs.

Heather Champine is a partner at Media Relations, Inc. She has more than 20 years of marketing and strategic writing experience, specializing in consumer products. She developed a mediagenic writing process that results in content that the media loves to receive. Champine applies her tactical advice every day, as she leads a team of publicists who secure media coverage across the U.S. and Canada, for clients ranging from start-up companies to those on the Fortune 500 list.

Written by Heather Champine

Heather is a multi-faceted leader. She’s part marketing strategist, part consumer psychologist and part motivational cheerleader. “I love understanding what drives people to take action, especially when it involves getting the media to run stories about our clients,” she says. With more than 20 years of experience, she has the keen understanding and insight to know how to run an integrated campaign and what it takes for our clients’ stories to become the news. She enjoys leading campaigns for complex industries such as medical devices and technologies, as well as fun industries such as hair salons. She thrives on pursuing creative ways to educate consumers about clients’ products, and ultimately inspiring them to buy. “I appreciate becoming a part of each client’s marketing team. I cherish the long-lasting relationships, and successful marketing programs we have created together.” Heather also finds joy in her daily collaborations as part of our creative team. “I am grateful to work with publicists, writers, designers and other marketing experts, all enjoying what they do because they are using their God-given strengths. Our publicists have great instincts because they all have media backgrounds. When things get hectic, it’s often Heather who cracks the first joke. “We encourage people to be a little goofy and unique. Some of the best ideas and solutions emerge because we know how to have fun,” she grins. “I may say something like, “Remember this is PR not the ER. Now, lighten up and go book a great story idea with the media!”

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