No really. I mean… do you even know? You’d be amazed how many people sit down to write a press release, a blog or some form of editorial without even considering the most important part of the whole piece… the audience.
For instance, writing this blog, I know it’s most likely to be read by franchisors, business owners and professionals involved with PR. I also know that anyone who does read it is likely to have an interest in generating coverage for themselves, their business or their product/service.
Knowing that in advance allows me to plan, not only the language and style of the piece I’m writing but also the desired outcome. All of that means the content follows quite naturally.
Thankfully, this process is second nature to me now (after years of practice!) But, in case it isn’t for you, here are five questions you should to ask yourself before you even think about putting pen to paper (or more likely, finger to keyboard).
1. Who is your target audience?
This is number one for a reason. If you don’t understand (and I mean, really understand) who you’re trying to reach with your copy then you may as well not bother writing it. Incidentally, I wouldn’t expect this to be the same for every piece.
2. Where will you find them?
Sometimes, we all have to learn to park our egos. Whilst we may have aspirations of appearing in Cosmo, The Guardian or the Times, if your target audience is reading obscure trade titles then, guess what? That’s where you need to be.
3. What’s going to get their attention?
In a never-ending flow of media, how are you going to cut through the noise and stand out? Questions, statements and controversy are just three ways to spark interest…
4. What’s going to be valuable to them?
Most people want to get something out of the things they read, watch and listen to. Advice, inspiration, hope, amusement… what are you offering your audience that makes it worth their while to give you their time?
5. How should you communicate with them?
Tailoring your writing language and style not just your audience, but to each individual publication or outlet might be tedious but I assure you, it is time well spent. When you’ve gone to the effort of creating copy, don’t let it be wasted by insisting on talking to an audience in your language, not theirs.
As with everything practice makes perfect (still working on it!) so don’t be afraid to test your skills and refine as you go.
For more advice on getting the most out of your PR, contact firstname.lastname@example.org