PR writing may seem hard at first. However, every piece actually has some basic sections that always should be included. Here are ten essential elements of writing effective PR pieces.
Determine Your Objectives
The first thing you should do is determine your objectives. Your PR writing must be guided by certain goals to help you stay on topic. Ask yourself, “What is the goal of my public relations campaign?”
Every campaign must have a clear objective in order for it to be effective. If you don’t have a target, you can’t hit the aim. A great idea would also be to use a tracker app such as Way of Life to set up and track your goals on a daily basis.
Set Your Goals & Measurements
The next step is setting your goals and measurements. As Marie Fincher, Head of Content at Trust My Paper said, “You need to know what success will look like and what exactly you want to achieve.” These will be directly related to your objectives.
While objectives are more abstract concepts, goals and measurements are more concrete and specific. Use numbers to measure how successful you are in what you wanted to achieve. Measurements will have to be defined at the beginning and used during the whole process to track the performance of a specific campaign.
Define Your Audience
Next, define your audience and understand who they are. Think of what target audience (public) you’d want to influence. Defining your audience is key to successful PR writing and succeeding in public relations campaigns.
Your target audience will depend on many different factors. For instance, it can be based on behavior, demographics and/or location. But you can define your own factors. Once you segment your audience, you will be able to deliver more targeted, effective, and relevant messages. [Editorial note: If you’re looking to save some time, Prowly’s media database is completely free for 7 days with full search access so you can see if it’s for you].
Do Your Research
After you have defined your objectives, goals, measurements, and target audience, you must do your research thoroughly. As Melanie Sovann, Writer for Best Essay Education said, “Doing your homework is essential: if you don’t have the information required, you can’t possibly write a great PR piece.” It’s a simple rule that many, unfortunately, forget about.
Nowadays, you have access to tons of data about your audience. Leaving it out is a huge mistake as you will not only miss out on the opportunity, but also lose the potential reach. Besides, without knowing your target audience in and out, you will not be able to clearly define your goals and focus on your priorities.
Another thing to remember is that your research must result in you finding crucial information and providing valuable insights into your piece of PR writing. These insights will be driving your strategy as the data will shape your content ideas. This is why it is so important to provide insights into your writing.
Public relations are unique in the way that it combines art and science. The point at which they meet is determined by the ability to use data to understand behaviors and motivations. In fact, data science is becoming an integral part of PR.
Summarize Your Strategy
Summarizing your strategy is essential for several reasons. First, it will show that you know everything to the minutest detail. Second, it will allow you to outline a specific plan for achieving your goals. This is often the most debated part of the PR planning process, so remember to keep your team in check.
By the way, you can use different writing tools to help you craft your pieces. Such tools include Grammarly (proofreading and grammar checking), Studicus (an online writing service that will write your piece for you), Hemingway Editor (highlights passive voice, adverbs, and complicated sentences), and Grab My Essay (another great online writing service).
Include Creative Guidelines
Creative guidelines will help you and your team better understand what content you will be creating and how you will be including visuals (if you will be at all). In fact, it’s a good idea to first check out some tips on including visuals to your press release before thinking of anything concrete for this section.
Actually, it’s all about what your audience is looking for. If you were able to successfully determine your target audience, you will know what they need and want and what kind of content will be relevant for them.
Determine Your Channels
Modern PR campaigns are designed to utilize several platforms and channels to achieve their goals. More often than not, earned or owned media content is more popular with paid distribution and social media close behind. If you are not sure whether the last one will be effective enough, you can read about driving engagement on your social media accounts.
Once again, it’s all about the audience. Think of whether or not the channels you chose are really the ones your target audience is more likely to use. If so, then you are on the right path. If not, reconsider your choices.
Craft Your Calendar
Crafting a comprehensive calendar will help you stay on track. With apps such as Google Calendar (which is available for free,) you can create a digital calendar with all the notes you could possibly think of. In case you are more of a traditionalist, write down the dates in your planner or buy a separate scheduler.
Your content calendar must match all the schedules for your campaigns, channels, and timelines. Place reminders for your deadlines so that you finish everything on time. After all, this is what calendars are for.
Confirm Your Resources
Lastly, you have to confirm your resources. All of that planning and then bringing your ideas to life requires investment mostly in the form of time and effort. However, you will also need certain resources to achieve your aims.
It is important that you list all of the required resources for each element of your program. This will help you get everything you need and avoid awkward situations. Such lists may seem secondary, but they actually play their own part in the bigger picture.
All in all, effective PR writing is not that complicated once you figure out all the elements of the piece you are working on. Make note of the advice in this article and avoid making mistakes that could end up being unwanted pitfalls for your PR campaign.