Does the idea of producing new copywriting content responding to recent events cause your palms to break out in a cold sweat?

Are you unnaturally worried about how your business would respond to – or even capitalise on – breaking news in your sector?

Well, you’re not alone. But you can settle the nerves and gain some competitive advantage by being prepared. Here’s how:

1. Get ready before something happens

It’s a good idea to have some templates for your press releases and news-y blog posts already made, so that you can simply drop in the content you need as you respond to an event or news story. That way, all the thinking is done up front during a quieter time, minimising search time and making the responsive copywriting task much easier.

Even better is to procure some approved quotes from the CEO or another executive. Get three or more so that you can choose the most appropriate when the time comes.

It’s also a good idea to do some research, gathering as much information as you can on areas of your business and industry that may be of interest during an event response.

2. Get hooked into social channels now

It’s no good trying to make contacts and connections with your industry insiders, influencers and competitors when a crisis event is unfolding.

Start now during the slow months so that you can build up relationships with key people and monitor what your rivals do in response to events in their businesses.

This means that as things unfold during a news situation, you’ll be set up and able to follow along with any commentators or offer a better or alternative version of comments from competitors.

3. Work smart for great copywriting

I this ‘working in real time’ and it’s something I picked up while working with journalists covering live events. They finish writing their reports before the event closes, saving time and allowing them to rewrite a small section in the even of a last minute surprise (think sports here). This way of working demonstrated to me early on in my career that it pays to get your copywriting completed before things wrap up.

When everyone else is busy writing and running around, if you’ve done these three steps (so far), you’ll already be live with your posted response or commentary and in a much more relaxed frame of mind. Trust me, panic is not a good state to write from.

4. Use online to grow your response

The proverbial online ink is never dry, so use this to your advantage to post updates and expand upon events as they unfold. This approach will allow you publish early and make adjustments as you go instead of waiting around until all the momentum has run dry.

Responsive content marketing is as much about your running commentary on an event than it is on producing a highly polished piece after the dust has settled (by then, it might be too late to chime in).

You’ll also be able to use and comment upon your audience’s updates and responses to the event in real time, bolstering your copywriting with insights and information from other sources.

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