What’s the difference between Editorial and a Press Release?

09 Apr What’s the difference between Editorial and a Press Release?

When you’re doing your own PR, many people struggle with getting their heads around writing press releases. They may have great writing skills, lots of interesting stuff to say and a firm grasp of what their customer wants to hear, but all these can lead you astray when you are writing a decent press release.

The problem is that press releases and editorial writing are two different things. Editorial copy can range from an opinion piece on a blog, to sales talk for a brochure or an informative article for placement on an online magazine or article syndication site. Press releases are completely different.

The main thing to understand is that whilst you are writing to attract your clients and customers, your main target in this case is the journalist or editor, and it is their needs that you need to think about.

So…

  • What sort of stories does their publication/show cover?
  • What sort of stories will get them excited?
  • What sort of facts and figures or info can you give to make their job easier?
  • What language does that publication use?

Once you know the above you can pretty much design a release that will appeal to them.  So, if you know that their publication mainly covers celebrity stories you know you are going to have to at least reference a celebrity in your release. Imagine yourself a hassled journalist sat at your desk and think about what story is going to make you sit up and take notice. Clue: the stories that do this are usually news stories – a very new and innovative product, gossip, something topical…

What is not going to work is a story about your company’s five year anniversary.

When it comes to facts and figures, stats are your best friend. The press love stats or, alternatively, case studies and research only you have access to. If it means running your own survey or holding a poll, then do it.

Finally, do pay attention to the language that publication uses? A press release written in Sun or Mirror speak but sent to the Guardian is going to go straight into trash.

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