Apr
07
blog author

Sanina Kaur

six-reasons-journalists-make-great-copywriters

You want your content to stand out from the rest, be authentic and make a lasting impression on your readers.

Easier said than done, right? Not if you have a journalist writing your copy.

Now I know what you’re most probably thinking, I’m only saying this because of my journalism background.

Well that’s not the case, while content marketing and journalism may be different, content marketers and companies that produce content, can learn a lot from journalists

Read on for the top six reasons why journalists make the best copywriters:

REASON 1: They’re prolific writers!

As obvious as it sounds, journalists can write! Whether you need a detailed white paper researching and writing from scratch, or a short news article turning around in 30 minutes, journalists are trained to deliver. That’s because they’re so used to obtaining information and producing stories on deadline. I lost count the amount of times I had to write a front page story or piece of downpage copy, proof it, and get it sent over to my editor within the tightest possible timescale during my six years in journalism.

REASON 2: They can spot news a mile off

Journalists are trained to do what they do best, undercover the facts and be the first to break a news story. This means they can instinctively spot the difference between information and a news nugget. For instance, if a client comes to me with information that’s interesting, but not necessarily newsworthy, I advise them on the details they need in order to transform what they have into a strong piece of content that’s both news and headline-worthy.

REASON 3: They’ll always find an angle

One of the things that’s been engrained in me from my journalism training and years spent working on news desks, is the importance of finding that new angle, as opposed to just simply reporting what everybody else is reporting.

As a journalist, there’s little point in taking the same angle as your rivals, as you won’t be telling people anything new, which means they’ll be less inclined to want to read your story as they’ve already heard it. I always found that if I could nail why readers would want to read my articles and how the story impacted them, then I was halfway there to writing engaging news that people would read from start to finish.

REASON 4: They’re not afraid to ask questions

Because journalists are trained to find the news hook in every story they write, they’re not afraid to ask the questions that’ll provide them with the information they need to write front page news. And that includes asking somewhat sensitive or tricky questions too. The vast majority of a journalist’s time is spent interviewing people (be it residents, council officers, doctors or senior officials), whether it’s face-to-face, over the telephone or via email.

REASON 5: They’re a stickler for accuracy

As well as being incredibly skilled at producing good quality content under pressure, journalists can also be relied upon to produce copy that’s accurate. That means, no grammatical or spelling errors, no typos and no silly mistakes. Journalists are also sticklers for getting the finer details, such as people’s names, job titles, etc, spot on. Rather than assume, they’ll always double check these finer details, as there’s nothing worse (or more frustrating) than having to publish an apology because you’ve got your key details wrong.

REASON 6: They’re used to getting to grips with new subjects

I couldn’t tell you how many different subjects I wrote about during my journalism days, there were so many, too many to remember. Every day, I’d write about something that I may not necessarily have heard of before or knew very little about. Regardless of my prior knowledge, it was my job to ask the right questions, get the full facts and write fully informed articles on any given topic (within a short period of time). Being able to get to grips with new information, complex subject matters and correctly interpret and Plain English the most jargony of information is bread and butter to most journalists (and something they particularly relish!)

All in all, getting a journalist to write your content will help ensure that it’s a) relevant to your target audience and b) engaging throughout, thanks to their instinctive nose for news, ability to ask the right questions and proven natural writing ability.

Got any questions, want to find out more or discuss your copywriting requirements with me? You can contact me by completing the online form, emailing me at sanina@skcopyco.com or calling me on 07810 636 748.

Discover how to take more of a journalistic approach to creating your content by reading this special guide I produced for B2B Marketing, ‘How to: Think like a journalist.’

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