From apologies to celebrations and reports to reviews, businesses need to constantly communicate with their audience. Choose your words carefully, because one wrong step can backfire disastrously. Media writing calls for a higher level of skill than many other forms of writing. But when it’s done right, your company will reap serious rewards.
However, not every business has the budget to hire a full-time PR team. Even those that do may struggle to mold their message for maximum impact. Bringing in a team of expert writers ensures that you always have the right words for every situation. You’ll be able to react quickly to developing situations and communicate the right message to ensure positive reception from your clients and investors.
Leverage Media Writing to Position Your Company as a Leader
What Does Media Writing Mean?
Strictly speaking, media writing refers to writing destined for a mass-media audience. Businesses broadcast these pieces out to everyone because they are typically of interest to anyone who may visit the site. Unlike a blog that might cover niche topics, media pieces tend to be broader and take on a more serious tone.
Experts identify two primary branches of media: Journalism and Public Relations. If you glossed over journalism because you’re not a news outlet, pump the brakes. Every business could use a good reporter. Being able to write about major events that could affect your business shows awareness of your surroundings and can reassure investors and customers alike.
Types of Journalistic Writing
Journalism deals with real-world events, but how it approaches those events can vary wildly from one piece to the next. It all depends on the purpose of the writing and the situation at hand. Journalism professors Scott A. Kuehn and Andrew Lingwall wrote the book on strategies for media writing. They break it down into four key categories that you can use to make your company stand out:
Stories that cover the facts are mostly used to explain a situation that has recently developed. When might your company need to write one of these? Imagine you operate a small chain of restaurants. Naturally, you’d want to explain to your clients how emergency regulations have impacted your business. Explain the facts.
Analyses go beyond the facts and enter into the “why” of what happened. They may include recommendations for future action. An analysis also typically takes a look at the bigger picture to see how other companies in the same industry have been affected. You may even write about your own business to explain how sales have evolved or why you are changing a policy.
Judgment pieces are also called opinion pieces or columns. Many companies stay away from writing opinion pieces because they don’t want to offend anyone ever. However, the times are changing. Consumers want to see brands take a stand for something. Coming out for or against a particular cause or social issue can highlight your brand’s values and increase brand loyalty.
Calls to Action
If there’s something you need people to do, a good call to action might be just what you need. In a call to action piece, you detail a problem and present a solution. Much of the article has to motivate the reader to take a particular action.
Whether that’s as simple as visiting your store for a once-in-a-lifetime sale or as serious as writing a congressman, you’ll want to finish strong and leave the reader feeling like they need to get out of their seat and take action.
Media Writing and Public Relations
We mentioned that journalism is only one part of the media arena. The other half concerns public relations, or PR. Although there is some overlap with journalism, as PR has to take facts and render judgments, the main difference is that every piece will cover an internal issue. If journalism examines the world outside the business, PR connects the inner workings of your company with that outside world.
These documents need to be extremely well done. Furthermore, they need to be published in a timely manner. Dragging your feet could be seen as a lack of concern or disinterest in an obvious issue. Poorly crafted PR can deal a fatal blow to your business. You shouldn’t settle for less than the best. What do great PR writers do to make sure their work excels?
Consider the Audience
PR messages need to target specific people. If your company made a mistake that affected its users, the message goes out to them. If you’re letting people know about a relocation, you clearly want to direct that message to members of the community where you operated and where you intend to move to. Even if other people might read the text, it should be clear who it is meant for.
When the audience is clear, the text is more impactful. Readers feel heard and your business stands out as a responsible company. Vague press releases, on the other hand, can have the exact opposite effect: your enterprise comes off as cold and uncaring.
Understand the Situation
Even though public relations will always try to present the situation in the best possible light for the company, it’s important to acknowledge the facts and admit fault when applicable. Nobody likes a business that passes the buck. However, when your company has been falsely accused or slandered, the truth becomes even more important.
When your PR team presents the facts objectively and explains how your business responded to the situation, people will be more likely to understand your side of the story.
Craft the Right Message
Describing the situation correctly in a way your audience will appreciate isn’t the end. Ultimately, what is the message you want to send? Are you promising to change to prevent a problem from happening again? Do you want to get readers excited about a new product or service? Are you trying to justify changes that some people might not like at first?
The “right message” tells the reader how they will benefit. Always think about your customers and how your actions will help them.
Why Do Businesses Need Media Writers?
Clearly, there are plenty of situations where your business could benefit from having a media writer on call. Even if your company never makes a mistake, you’ll still want to show your interest in the world around you. You’ll need to communicate positive developments as well as setbacks. Nevertheless, you might not be able to justify a full-time writer for PR or corporate journalism.
Outsourcing your entire PR department is an option, but this often means you’ll be paying for more than you need. So, what’s the solution?
How Can You Produce Quality Writing for Your Company?
What if, instead of constructing your own PR department or hiring a PR firm, you had writers ready to help you whenever you needed a piece? A current event drops and you need an article now. A tragedy occurred at one of your businesses and you need a solemn acknowledgment. You’re about to announce your IPO and want to celebrate and drum up investors.
If you had writers on call, you could have those pieces crafted in no time, with the quality you’d expect of an expert media writer. At SteadyContent, that’s exactly what we provide. We have a team of writing experts who come from a variety of backgrounds, including journalism and PR. If you need something written, we’ll get it done. Contact SteadyContent and tell us what you need.