Good writing skills are foundational for any PR professional. In fact, some people like myself even chose the profession because of a love of writing! However, learning what writing techniques are effective in PR-related writing such as pitch letters and press releases takes time and understanding of why certain emails and letters grab people’s attention, and some don’t.
Granted, I’m still trying to figure out what I can incorporate into my pitch letters and press releases to make them stand out, but here are a few tips I have uncovered along the way.
Imagine you got an email for a new product or service that looked mass-produced and robotic, as if a computer program had been designed just to write it. How likely would you be to respond? Not very. The emails that will grab people’s attention will effectively make it clear that a person took their time to write it and made it unique. Use creative language, while maintaining consistency with the person or company you are pitching to.
Smile without a face:
Similar to demonstrating your personality, make sure that your writing comes across with positivity. If you were relaying this email in a conversation, would you naturally have a smile on your face? If the answer is no, then adjust your writing accordingly. Of course, the degree to which you can do this depends on who you are pitching, so make sure it fits; but remember- everyone likes a smile!
Solve a Problem:
Why should someone care about your product or service? Ask yourself, whenever you are pitching a person or company, how your product or service is filling a gap that hasn’t been filled. Figure out how this product or service is filling a need, and how specifically it will satisfy the need of who you are pitching.
It needs to be evident in your writing that you know exactly who you are talking to. If it looks like you are just cutting and pasting the same email and putting in their name, it needs to be personalized. Compliment a journalist’s writing or a company’s innovative products. Make it clear that you have taken the time to email this person because they interest you.
People barely have time to read one lengthy email, now consider that they are getting hundreds of them! Make your points as briefly as possible. In fact, it is often times brevity itself that will grab people’s attention.
The subject line matters:
As just noted, people have flooded inboxes and often no time to read every email. Make sure that you write a subject line that introduces your product or service in way that is creative. Ask yourself- if I scrolled past this in my inbox, would I stop and look at it?
Understanding what works and what doesn’t in PR writing takes time and experience, success and failure. I hope these tips will help you uncover the techniques that will bring you success.