Just before anyone assumes that Sitetrail has the connections to publish whatever it likes on credible news sites – I’d like to request an opportunity to explain why this is not quite the case. The reason thousands of publishers choose to publish our content is because it conforms to a high standard, includes genuine news people want to read – and yes, we make life easy for media owners. In this guide I want to share the recipe with you, which is crucial to use alongside your unlimited PR access pass.
To benefits of being able to produce professional editorial news are substantial and it sets apart amateur marketing teams who are confined to “sponsored” and “press release” media channels, from experienced PR and marketing teams who get superior results in both SEO and general website traffic.
The starting point is to know how to create balanced, useful content that editors can trust. Once they do, you will end up leaving a permanent and reliable trail of news on the web, which can generate more traffic and vouch for your brand.
In our industry, a lot of unwritten rules exist and you will probably still need to use a company with good media connections for optimal results. This guide will help you move on from the poor results you experienced from press releases, to join the ranks of other unicorn brands like Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft and many more!
In this guide, you will learn in less than 3 minutes how to create authentic news content editors will approve easier:
The two samples below were published in a highly authoritative global business news site with more than 2Million monthly visits. Take a closer look and you will see the principles that underpin a successful outcome.
Want to join the prestigious club of brands who get mentioned in the news in full feature articles, without a cheap looking “sponsored” or “press release” label? Below you can see how most editors will think and what they’re looking for:
Note that in one of the cases (artificial plants company) we used the names of bigger competitors in a constructive way. Nothing negative was said about the competition, however we achieved two important outcomes:
News publishers love linking to authoritative content from the government, research and other news. By relating our story to it, we are able to help achieve two goals:
TIP: In the case of our Golfing client, you can see that they stood for an important cause: women in golfing, and being an equality brand. These causes, if true, will draw more attention and form an emotional bond with readers.
Some of the best sales can occur as the result of a slightly bearish “reverse-psychology” tone in your content. There is no need to lead readers down the garden path with pushy and biased content. That is the magic of using editorial content in a subtle way.
Add another magic ingredient: HEDGING LANGUAGE, and it will increase trust. Remember, people do not want to be sold to.
An example of a thoughtlessly constructed unhedged statement by a seemingly biased writer:
“Brand X has the best quality computers in the world at the best prices and by far the most friendly service, so get yourself to their store to find your perfect computer”.
An example of a hedged and more unbiased and more acceptable statement instead:
“Brand X is one of the leaders in high quality computers. Consumer feedback indicates that pricing and friendly service might be a reason for it’s popularity. So it may be well worth considering Brand X when buying your next computer”.
Examples of acceptable statements where promotion is incredibly subtle:
Examples of outright uncensored promotion that are not acceptable:
An editorial news article can say that “based on evidence from customer reviews, that the company seems to be one of the leading brands in their industry“. But it can NEVER make an outright, unintelligent, biased statement such as “this is indeed the best company in the entire industry”.
Why is this so important?
The result of playing fair here, is continued good media relations. The result of insisting on outright promotion and biased unintelligent statements, is that media brands will lose an interest in working with you.
Usually it is fine to include a customer name in a NON promotional fashion in the 3-bullet intro, as the 2nd or 3rd bullet, but not as the 1st.
In CNBC and BusinessInsider you will notice a very short 3 bullet introduction. Think of it like a mini-executive summary. One of the samples above has the same.
The best tip to take to heart: DO NOT FORCE YOUR BRAND NAME IN THE FIRST BULLET – Let that be the news, rather than self-promotion.
Usually, the 2nd or 3rd bullet can contain your brand name if you have something really useful to say. Otherwise, omit your brand name to make it less pushy or promotional.
We do submit paid content: Yes it is true that at the time of writing this guide, I admit that very few companies submit more paid content than us to media partners – and some of it is actually paid for to make sure things move at the right pace.
But also thousands of free news posts: That said, we also do thousands of free submissions that did not cost anything – and as news owners ourselves, you can trust us that this information is the minimum standard needed to get rid of those unwanted “sponsored” and “press release” labels.
Provided that you are on board with the above tips, now you can produce your own news editorial and save it on a GOOGLE DOC. This is because Google Docs are now the new industry standard between publishers, it is easy to share and edit in collaboration mode. From here, you will either submit it via WordPress if you have unlimited press release access yourself as an author, or it will be sent to editors in a Google Doc.
PROCEDURAL TIP TO MAKE IT EASY FOR MEDIA TEAMS:
Once your document is ready, share a link to the file. Do make sure to set it so that ANYONE WITH THE LINK READ the document because editors will ignore it if they need to ask for access and wait.
With the above in place you can now reach out to news sites – or use your unlimited access pass to submit content that will easily fly past editors who will start to trust you.
The important currency here is trust. Step 3 will be a breeze when editors can see that you have accounted for the most important elements of what constitutes real news. Indeed they will let you sneak in a cheeky self mention and link about your brand provided that you balanced the article well.
Study the above examples and principles – and follow them in order to be successful with news editors. Editors tend to be quite busy and even when there is a smooth or commercially lucrative situation where they want your content, they require content that will at least conform with a minimum expectation. The ability to deliver on this, is ultimately what will separate you from those who lack success in their PR efforts.
Google Helpful Content Update:
Let’s end this on the right note by being aware of the Google Helpful Content Update, which illustrates why it is so important to take a fresh perspective on how you produce content.