Category: Lifting the lid


Standing out in the business blogging world

By Raspberry Jim,

When it comes to blogging, many people may believe this is simply a space to unleash all your innermost thoughts on the world.

And, in some cases, they would be right.

 

However, blogs can also play an effective and engaging role in the business world too.

Rather than sending out a press release to the masses, a blog allows businesses and their staff, to engage with their clients in a far more intimate and relatable way.

It enables those at the heart of the organisation to share their unique perspective and underline their expertise as only they can.

But, this isn’t news to many businesses. Many managers, and team members are seasoned blog masters who have cleverly utilised this skill to their advantage for years. So, how can you make your blog stand out from all the online noise?

Here’s our five top tips to creating a blog that demands to be seen and heard…

Unleash your expertise

When it comes to blogging, the first step is, obviously, deciding what you want to say.

In terms of business this might be to share your expertise in mergers and acquisitions, make science more relatable, or bring legal matters to the fore in an engaging way.

Whatever it is, you’ll be starting your blog with a purpose – but so will millions of others.

So, what makes your blog speak for itself?

You! Your voice and expertise are what sets your blog apart.

Don’t be afraid to share your expert knowledge, experience, and advice, and highlight what you, and ultimately your business, have to offer.

If you spot a news topic you can add your own perspective on, why not blog about it? If it add to the ongoing social or news commentary – even better!

Ultimately, the online world of news and social media is fast moving, and an online audience is always on the hunt for the latest, most unique, and most interesting topic.

By drawing on your unique industry expertise, and offering a new opinion, this is exactly what you’re providing.

Relating to your audience

Knowing your audience is probably one of the THE most important aspects of blogging.

Identifying who you are speaking to, and what they will be interested in, is certain to make your blog soar.

As we previously mentioned, if you are targeting businesses in your sector, add to the discussion and unleash your expertise, this is your time to shine! If you think something is newsworthy and interesting – chances are, your industry colleagues will too!

However, if you are targeting a non-specialist audience, such as potential clients, it’s time to get your research hat on, delve into what interests them, any newsworthy topics which are hitting the headlines, and speak to them in clear and understandable language.

Lost in translation

It can be easy to adopt jargon we use daily, however with a person outside your industry, this might be quickly lost in translation.

For example, using industry jargon or technical language might be fine if you are appealing to someone from a specialist financial/legal/ intellectual property or similar audience, who know their corporate finance from their copyright law.

However, if you are attempting to relate to a younger audience, such as graduates, or even prospective employees – then bombarding them with specialist terms might miss the mark.

Tailoring your message and tone of voice to your audience is guaranteed to speak to them on a more relatable level, and set your blog apart.

A picture is worth a thousand words

And when it comes to blogging it’s definitely worth remembering this!

It can be all too tempting to reel off paragraphs of information to your audience, particularly if it’s something you are passionate about.

However, excessive information presented in a wall of words can easily become overwhelming and detract the reader.

So, why not introduce an image or two?

If you have any images relating to your topic add them in, this will break up the text and make it more visually appealing. Equally videos, graphics, and Gifs can also add an engaging and fun element to your blog.

Remember to try and use good quality images, and if you’ve downloaded them from online ensure you have permission to use the image.

Break it up

A wall of words can be both daunting and off putting.

So why not use a few headings to break it up?

It’s a simple and effective tool which helps to divide your writing into easily readable sections, and make the blog more appealing to your audience.

Make sure each heading clearly relates to the section it is introducing, and is not too vague.

One man and his blog

The title of your blog is your first chance to grab a reader’s attention – so get it right!

An interesting, funny, witty, or thought-provoking headline is more likely to demand the audience’s attention and tempt them to read on.

While a standard headline explaining the blog’s content is fine, it’s highly unlikely to stand out from the crowd.

A top tip is to write your headline after completing the blog, and you’ve got a gist of what the piece entails. This will enable you to write an informed and interesting title that will command attention.

Unlike a news article, the blog headline doesn’t need to be explanatory, it can instead be interesting and intriguing, but remember it also must relate to the blog topic.

When getting creative, just ensure this is right for the tone of the article. If you’re writing about a sensitive subject be particularly careful with your headline.

If in doubt, do a bit of research into other industry blogs to get a more realistic perspective on what is effective.

 

How to spot a good news angle

By Raspberry Jim,

How do you spot a good news angle?

That’s a question that I, as a former journalist turned PR professional, get asked quite frequently by clients.

Before writing an article, press release, or blog, everyone will ask themselves if the topic they are considering writing about is, in fact, interesting enough to warrant further discussion.

The term we often use to refer to a good article angle, is whether it is newsworthy or not.

Identifying a newsworthy story can be the difference between achieving great coverage, or sending an article out into the news and media abyss.

Newsworthy or not?

But how do you know if something is newsworthy?

Generally, a good news angle is deemed to be something which is genuinely new, interesting, and informative, and provides a unique perspective which promotes widespread interest and discussion.

However, when it comes to PR, this can be tricky. What a journalist deems newsworthy, and what a business believes is newsworthy may be two totally separate things.

There are many reasons for this. It can be difficult for managers or those personally invested in a business to separate what’s interesting to them, from what’s interesting to the general public.

Being realistic and truly assessing the wider news value of your company information, can often shed a light on whether something is actually newsworthy.

When deciding on news value, it’s always handy to carry out a little bit of research online into similar industry stories and gauge interest.

Tapping into the news

Then there’s current events and news.

This could be seen to be an easy win for businesses in achieving coverage.

It allows businesses to comment on a story with in-built media interest while offering their own specialist opinion and adding genuine value to the article.

Any time a company can legitimately further the discussion around a news story or widely discussed topic, they are ensuring their story is newsworthy.

Let’s be honest, if you’re talking about something in the news, chances are the public will be too.

Human interest

 

Heartfelt human interest stories are particularly newsworthy and effective in engaging with the general public in an emotive way.

Readers will empathise with articles which detail personal achievement, overcoming adversity, tragedy and triumph, and heartfelt struggles. This enables them to form an emotional attachment with the story’s subject matter increasing their engagement and understanding of your message.

But this can be challenging when you are searching for a human angle in a business story.

Ask yourself, did this promotion come after years of tireless work and personal achievement for the staff member? Has an MBO allowed a family member to continue their family’s business legacy? There could be something you haven’t considered!

Obviously, this should only be used under appropriate circumstances and when there is a legitimate story to tell.

Statistics and figures

What catches your attention more effectively – Workers taking duvet days due to stress, OR Over 1.8 million workers forced to take duvet days due to stress.

Using statistics and figures within an article, and headline, not only strengthens it and draws in the reader by quantifying what you are discussing, but it backs up your point with numerical evidence and legitimises it.

More people are likely to be engaged by an article that discusses specific figures that they can relate to, rather than something vague, such as terms including ‘large sum’, ‘significant amount’ or ‘numerous’.

If a story said: People in Wales were consuming 100 chocolate bars per hour – I’d definitely want to read it! And be honest, you might too …

Finally …

Overall assessing whether a story is newsworthy or not is really about being realistic, doing a little bit of research, using some news savviness, and exercising honest non-biased judgement.

If in doubt, the PR team at jamjar are always here to help steer you in the right direction! As content and media specialists, we have a ‘nose for news’ and are happy to advise you on what has news value.