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B2B journalists’ top tips for press releases

You want your story to get as much coverage as possible, so you need to make sure your press release is delivering what your target journalists are looking for.

Journalists are inundated with press releases, and they are time-poor. They don’t read every press release they get sent (sorry) instead, they make snap decisions about which to read and which to cover.

Man sitting against of wall and floor covered in newspaper. His face is obscured as he's holding up a newspaper, reading it. He's wearing a bright yellow jumper and dark blue jeans and trainers.
Getting your story in the press means ticking certain boxes with your press release. Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

I’ve written a few posts about press releases, what works best and what doesn’t based on 20 years of being on the receiving end (links at the bottom).

Among my top tips are to target your press release appropriately, get to the point quickly and stick to the facts – no unsubstantiated marketing speak like ‘leading’ and ‘unique’.

But for this post, I asked some of my B2B journalist friends and former colleagues for their press release dos and don’ts.

Here is what they had to say:

Sophia Furber, reporter, S&P Global Market Intelligence:

Us financial journalists need to back up our stories with numbers, so if you are pitching to the business media, then include useful data points in your press release.

How big was X’s investment/loan? How great do you think Y market opportunity is? How much capital was raised? Which company was bought, and for how much money?

You get the picture.

Including this information in the email header or the opening lines of the press release will get my attention and help me make a quick decision about how newsworthy the story is.

Go easy on the jargon and corporate speak. If you include a quote from the CEO in the press release that sounds like it was generated by a robot, then it’s more than likely that it’s not going to end up in any media coverage.

And lastly, if you are offering up comments on a topic that is in the news (say, a big government announcement or a high-profile bankruptcy) from your CEO or another expert source in your company… actually have an opinion!

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People in business: How to add personality to B2B content

“We want our content to have a bit more personality” is something I often hear from clients, but when they see copy that reflects the individual, it can make them nervous.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

It reads as more conversational and less formal than the traditional B2B content you normally see.

The built environment sector I work in is frequently described as a people industry, yet you wouldn’t guess that from the content that is regularly published.

A lot of it sounds quite similar, as if following a particular rule book about how you write to sound professional and authoritative.

To reflect personality in your business content, that rule book needs to be ripped up. It will read a little differently, but it can help your target audience get to know you and the people in your business. It can make you more relatable and approachable.

And content that is a bit different is good in the noisy world of the internet and social media.

You don’t have to completely change how you write or sound like an Innocent smoothie advert. There are small, subtle ways to add a sprinkle of personality to your B2B content that will make a difference.

Whether you are writing your own content or writing it for someone in your business, here are four ways of adding personality:

1. Particular word choice

Start with choosing words and phrases you would use in a real conversation with a friend, family member or peer. If you would naturally say you were ‘chuffed’ or ‘over the moon’, write that.

If you are writing a piece for someone in your business, listen carefully to the words they use. I like to record content chats and get a transcript (Otter.ai is the tool I use).

Are there any particular words or phrases they use? How do they explain their viewpoint or describe something when chatting about it?

Use these in the copy so that it sounds authentic to them.

A simple example is someone who works in the healthcare sector using the word ‘poorly’ rather than ‘sick’ to describe patients using a facility.

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How to get your LinkedIn activity growing your business

Can LinkedIn be a low-cost marketing tool for B2B businesses?

Ayo Abbas, who hosts the Built Environment Marketing Show podcast recently invited me as a guest to talk about how to get your LinkedIn activity firing on all cylinders.

Ayo Abbas and Stacey Meadwell about to go live on LinkedIn to talk about…LinkedIn

Among the points we discussed were whether LinkedIn can help you grow your business, the best approach to get traction and what to post about.

It was recorded as a Livestream on LinkedIn, and you can watch the video replay below, or it will be available as a podcast on 21 October 2022.

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Video: 5 quick tips for writing press releases

Journalists are busy and inundated with press releases, so making sure yours hits the mark is critical.

Here are 5 quick tips for writing press releases for the B2B press:

Want to know more about writing press releases? Check out some of these blog posts:

How to make your press release repel journalists

4 common misconceptions about B2B press releases

Why you should target your press release

Before you write your press release, ask these questions

And if you want to see more of my videos, I’ve set up a YouTube channel: The B2B Content Clinic.

🎥 📱 🎥 📱 🎥 📱

This video was made using Canva. It’s the first time I’ve used Canva video, and I found it fairly intuitive and straightforward.

Is social media a waste of time for B2B business?

Anyone involved in comms and marketing will be spending a chunk of time on social media but, with mysterious algorithms to contend with, it can be a frustrating and unpredictable strategy.

Ayo Abbas, Emma Drake and I discussed whether social media is a waste of time for B2B businesses in a LinkedIn live stream

So is it worth the time spent? This is what Ayo Abbas, Emma Drake and I discussed on a LinkedIn Live stream recently, and these are some highlights from that conversation.

If you want to watch the video of the full discussion, including audience questions, scroll to the bottom of the post.

Is social media all it’s cracked up to be?

Emma: I think people don’t often get a lot from it because they’re perhaps not using it well or effectively.

And the algorithm makes no sense, it’s not one thing you can solve. It is continually changing and morphing, and that is a huge challenge.

So anyone who tells you that they understand the algorithm on a social media platform is lying.

I had a post on LinkedIn that had multiple likes and shares, but it got under 300 impressions. I’ve had a post that had two likes and got over 2000. Go figure.

Social media can be really useful, but you need to have a plan.

Me: Yes, you are at the whim of the algorithm. Some platforms are ‘pay to play’, and they’re promoting content that has been paid for.

So you have to go in with your eyes open and realise there’s no silver bullet with social media.

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