Writing articles and press releases for trade magazines

F&D News Q&A - April 2014

Most trade magazines offer space on their news pages for companies to promote what they do. This can be a good way to let others know about the launch of new products or services, announce changes within the company such as new members of staff or a move to new premises, or to invite customers to visit the company’s stand at a trade fair.

While a standard press release is fine for magazines that offer free coverage – as the magazine’s journalists will incorporate the information provided into a news article – in many cases, the space is offered for a fee. If you are paying for a news article of a set word count, you should think carefully about what you supply to the magazine.

For example, if you send a 500-word press release for a 300-word article, the magazine will cut this down as they see fit. You may be happy with what they produce, but if you are keen to see specific points included in the news story, it might be better to produce a concise 300-word article in the first place. After all, you are paying for the space in the same way you’d pay for an advert.

When it comes to longer advertorials – paid for features – the magazine may offer you the opportunity to write something yourself or they may suggest that one of their journalists interviews a senior member of staff and then writes up the interview as a feature.

If you are writing the article yourself, the best way to keep the reader’s attention is to make it read like a feature rather than an extended press release. Take a look at other magazine articles and think about what makes you want to read one over another.

If you are setting up an interview, think carefully about the message you want to get across and who you are putting forward from the company. Sometimes the Managing Director is the obvious choice, especially if they are the founder and there’s an interesting story to tell about why the company was set up. In other cases it might be better to offer someone from the marketing department, who has a good understanding of how to promote your company and can provide good quotes and sound bites.

Once a paid-for article is completed, the magazine should give you the opportunity to read over it. Make sure you allow time for this and feel free to go back to them with any changes you would like to see. After all, it’s your money that’s being spent.

If you’d like help with writing trade press articles or other features, drop me an email at: michelle@key-words.co.uk or call 01484 430 228.

 

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