When it comes to PR, creating content is a given. These days, content comes in myriad forms, and goes beyond your basic press release, white paper or social media post. Whether it’s for a client or the agency, writing and creating is an integral part of most people’s days. The caveat, however, is if you’re writing with panache. With impact. With purpose. AKA, is your content good?
At this year’s Public Relations and Social Media Summit at Marquette University, Sarah Van Elzen presented Writing for Impact: Principles of Good Content. During the one-hour session, Sarah addressed creating content that not only reaches, but resonates with, the intended audience. While defining “good” content can be a wildly subjective task, her ten basic principles provide food for thought when approaching your next post, tweet, or video.
So, what is “good” content? Well, it is:
- Informative. Educate the reader with vivid facts or details.
- Emotional. Tap into the emotions of your audience to make an impact.
- Transparent. Information should be honest, open and easy to understand.
- Useful. Give people what they need. Information that is practical, productive and solves problems is more appreciated than self-serving folderol.
- Amusing. You can never go wrong with laughter—50 percent of people talk with friends after watching something funny.
- Transactional. This type of content includes pictures, and fosters a business deal, conversation or sale.
- Optimized. To increase SEO, the content should be searchable, targeted, and results in a prominent search engine ranking.
- Relevant. The content should be specific and personal, and relate to the target audience.
- Agile. The world moves at a fast clip, so be sure you’re up-to-speed. Boost engagement by writing smart, clever copy, referencing pop culture and current trends.
- Brand-driven. Stay true to the brand you’re representing, maintaining voice, philosophy and expectations.
Is it possible to incorporate every single action item into your next post? No. But keep these principles in mind as you write, and the stories you push out through social media will grab your audience and insist they pay attention.