B2b byline writing demystified

By in Views
On June 13, 2019


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A central part of any effective b2b PR strategy is the content drafted for your clients. It seems simple enough – your client has a message they want to put out, so you write it up. But when pen meets paper, the nuances of b2b PR writing begin to take hold.

Drafting content in b2b PR means tailoring messaging to business audiences. So, the writer at the helm of this content has to take a few key questions into account:

Who is the audience?

Business audiences can be a tricky group to captivate. They’re not your typical content consumer, like someone reading national news, or checking last night’s scores. Business audiences are made up of industry professionals, oftentimes looking for specific verticalized information about the field they’re in. This puts us as PR pros in a position where we can tailor our messaging to target the movers and shakers in an industry.

Why do they care?

It’s important to make sure the content you’re drafting isn’t simply just a rehashed pitch. Articles that are too salesy or self-promotional will not only stifle pageviews, but they’ll turn off your target audience – or worse, spook editors from taking additional content. It’s crucial to ensure you’re writing from the point of view of your client, but with the publication’s readers in mind. Your client will gain more credibility if they’re positioned as an expert in the topic they’re discussing, rather than just sounding like a salesperson.

What does my client want to convey?

The tricky part is making sure your content and your client’s messaging are in line with one another. To make sure you reach the industry professionals, you need to speak with the industry professionals. Every good bit of contributed content starts by drawing out the messaging from the clients themselves. Dive into your client’s spokesperson bench, and get them on the phone. Drawing out the messaging directly from the source eliminates guessing, and ultimately cuts down on approval times.

When is this being published?

It seems simple enough, but know your deadlines! It’s not just as simple as writing the article and sending it to the editor. Approvals take time, especially when a client has specific messaging they need to relay. Try to give yourself a wide enough window to draft the article, send it to the client, go back and forth on edits, sculpt it to the editorial guidelines, and then submit it to the publication. You may even need additional time if comments are being drafted by customers of your client. The more leeway you have, the better.

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How can I stand out?

Diversify your spokesperson bench. It’s great to continue drafting comments and articles on behalf of the same designated spokesperson, but that can run stale after a while. Think creatively, especially if the content is going to a vertical publication. Is there anyone at your client who has that level of specific knowledge? Anyone who has had prior experience in a certain industry? Offering up different spokespeople will make byline pitches more interesting to publications, as well as helping to avoid the risk of getting repetitive.

Drafting a byline doesn’t have to be a daunting task. They are an all-too-necessary part of public relations, and when done right, can form a direct messaging pipeline to the media. You don’t need to be the next Shakespeare to write an effective byline – all it takes is a bit of creativity and a keen eye for your client’s messaging.

To find out more about byline writing and our PR and marketing services, drop us a line at hello@rlyl.com or visit our contact page.

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