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Team Talks: Writing for an audience

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This week the team give us tips on writing for different audiences. From press releases to scripts to social media posts, nothing fits in the same copywriting box, so check out the team’s advice below:

Simon: Press Releases

Location, Location, Location is the name of a long-running Channel 4 property programme. But it should also be the mantra for anyone writing a press release – particularly if you are targeting the local media.

When drafting a release, always ask yourself: what is the connection to the publication’s readership area? Is your client selling a product or service in their patch? Is their business based there? Is the charity it is supporting local to their area? Whichever of these angles provides the strongest link should feature prominently in your article.

Sam: Press Releases

Perhaps more so because of my background within the industry, but one audience I’m always baffled to learn has been overlooked in PR is the journalist receiving our press release. Knowing the type of story they’re more likely to run, the type of image they want to see, and the structure of the press release which makes it ‘oven ready’ for use is imperative to securing the coverage which will then be targeting audiences across the region, or the country.

Alex B: Social Media

To write impactful and engaging content, it is important to get an in-depth understanding of your target audience. From a social media perspective, once you have researched your audience you can then create a persona to interact with your target customers. While your biggest priority should be to promote the company and provide information for the reader/user, you also shouldn’t be afraid to let your own personality show – this can be hugely effective as it will enable the reader to connect with you. The use of multimedia content – such as photos and videos – can also help to provide insight into the internal happenings within a company; which can in turn help the consumers feel like they are there, while enabling them to build a better sense of understanding and trust with the company.

Rachel: Press Releases

I think it’s helpful to imagine the type of person who’ll read what you’re writing – and then think about what they already know, and what they might like to know. There’s little point in including a description of the charming local area in a press release about new homes being built if you’re sending it to the local paper – the readers will probably know more about this than you. They’ll want to know how long the work will take and if there’s going to be a new school or shops. However, that charming local detail might be really interesting to the reader of a national publication. It all depends on the audience.

Jodie: Scripts

Writing scripts is a very different format to the usual press release. With press releases you are usually bound by word counts, whereas with scripts they can be as long as you would like providing they are within the time limit for that scene or for that film/advertisement/testimonial.

You also need to think about tone of voice. Press releases tend to be very formal, stating facts and quotes from important managers and directors. Scripts tend to be more informal; you need to think about how words are said rather than how they’re read. When you’ve finished writing a scene, say it out loud and time yourself to see if it fits and sounds natural.

Rachael: Press Releases

The language, structure and tone of a release can change dramatically based on its intended audience. Before writing, a copywriter must consider who their intended audience for the story is. Is the piece for the local or regional media? Could this be of national interest, or is it more of a B2B focus?

For example in a B2B piece, you could use jargon, language that other people in the industry would be familiar with. However, when targeting any other media, you should avoid jargon where possible, to make sure the reader understands the story.

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