The public relations landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. As soon as Facebook and Twitter were created, it became that much easier for your organization to talk directly with your potential customer without the filter of the media. However, slowly over the years, the task of getting press coverage got more difficult and organizations needed to get more creative and more media savvy if they wanted to continue enjoying media coverage.
Your Content Pros former name was Greenwood & Associates and we pretty much handled traditional public relations for clients for many years. We put our clients on television, radio and were very successful in getting print coverage for many clients in different industries. But that changed over the years.
One service we have always provided and still do now as Your Content Pros is ghostwriting articles for business publications. If you look around you and your industry, there are plenty of opportunities to write articles for a whole host of publications. You might have to start local but if you put the effort into this, you can slowly expand your reach.
Here are a few tips for getting started writing guest articles for business publications
Make a few lists. You should create at least three lists when getting started. First, what your actual expertise is. What are you absolutely qualified to write about and how can you help the reader. Second, start a running list of topics or articles. They can start with “How To” or “5 Tips”, and so on. For example, how to repair your credit after going bankrupt or five tips to make more money this year.
The other list is your vertical markets. Who do you serve and who can you help with your expertise? Do you work closely with landscaping contractors or plumbers? Do you help children with special needs? Create a list of all your vertical markets. From there, you’ll want to research all the publications that reach those markets. You are probably already familiar with a number of them from being in your business but get on the internet and find the rest.
Do they take guest articles? Let’s not waste your time here. You need to scan the publication to see if they in fact accept articles written by others. If you are unsure, you can even send them an email or pick up the phone to ask. If they do accept articles, find the right contact as well as the preferred contact method. Some publications have an editor that serves in this role and other publications might have a form on their website to fill out. Don’t break the rules. Submit your article or idea for an article the way they ask you to.
Pitch your idea. Your article needs to educate and inform the reader of your targeted publication. Always keep that in mind when asking to write for a publication. With that said, inform the editor of the publication, the title of your proposed article, what you will cover and how it can help their reader. You don’t have to write a long pitch. In fact, the shorter and more to the point, the better. The more you can help the reader, the better your chances of getting picked up.
Write that article. In some cases, you’ll need to submit the article with your pitch. In that case, you need to write the article ahead of time. But in general, you’ll most likely have time once your pitch is accepted to write it up. Your article should frame a concern, issue or even an industry trend in the beginning. In fact, those are three words that many people in public relations often forget when trying to get press coverage. Trends, issues and concerns. If you cover these, you’ll understand the road to becoming a thought leader.
Frame your issue at the beginning with the reader. Depending on the length the editor wants, will tell you how much time and words you have to do this. But generally you should have two paragraphs to relate your issue to the reader.
Focus on three to five key points in your article to help the reader get educated about your subject. These key points should give the reader enough information to help them with his or her issue and concern as well as position you as an expert in that topic.
After your key points, conduct a wrap up of what you helped them through with a quick summery on anecdote.
GSP. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are all important when it comes to showing people you are an expert. Take great care to ensure you are writing well and carefully laying out your thoughts. If you are unsure of your writing skills or just don’t have the time but still want to contribute articles, make sure you get help from a professional ghostwriter, credible public relations consultant or marketing professional.
If you do your homework, you’ll find many opportunities to write articles that can help you get noticed in your market. It may take time but if you look around, create a plan, you’ll be well on your way to capitalizing on this effective PR strategy. And if you need help from a professional, make sure you get it.