How do you measure the success of a MAT release? In today’s digital world, automatic online placements, along with related metrics on audience size, certainly play a major role in defining whether or not an article is a win.
But editor pickup of your MAT release also plays a critical role. Print placements are still prized, as are article pickups that editors specifically place in their online publications. If an editor chooses to place your article in front of his or her readers, that is an endorsement of the content.
So how do you make sure your article enjoys maximum pickup from said editors? Here are seven tricks of the trade. They all come down to this: Know what editors are looking for and speak to their needs first, and that will get your MAT release message in front of more consumers.
1. Create news value
A MAT release must have news and information of value in it. Remember where you are trying to achieve publication: In newspapers! Articles that read like news stories consistently garner more views – and consequently more pickups – from editors looking for material to publish to their readers.
2. Lose the commercialism
This is a fine line to tread. What’s the use of doing a MAT release if your brand isn’t mentioned? Here’s the trick. Editors weren’t born yesterday. They know this is brand content. They also know they can do whatever they want with the material. If your band messaging is subtle and natural, chances are the editor will keep it in.
3. Edit for AP style
Most of today’s’ online and print publications subscribe to the Associated Press (AP) book of content style. It is the industry standard. Massage your copy according to AP rules and you reduce editors’ workload, and your story will get more love.
4. Do the WIIFM
Before you write, and as the content takes shape, and then again as you review your MAT creation, always look at it through the final audience’s lense. That reader will be asking themselves this question: What’s In It For Me? Craft your MAT release as if the readers are actually paying for it – because in many ways, they are. Make their interests your priority, and provide information that enhances their lives.
5. Have a theme
Any good article needs an appealing and readily identifiable theme. Editors aren’t looking for random thoughts on a broad topic. They want specific messages that are well thought out and focused right in on a particular message. If you have a lot to say, divide your messaging into multiple MAT releases and cover each theme separately.
6. Provide facts, quotes and statistics
Fill your article with material of news value – facts, figures, quotes and statistics. Be sure to use some independent sources. Think like a reporter, and work to make your article sound authoritative and objective. Tip: The best way to get great quotes? Use your company expert as the source.
7. Write a direct headline
Editors reviewing content for potential pickup for their publications need to know exactly what is in that story, and why a reader would want to see it. Use actions verbs in the headline, and be direct, be direct, be direct. Truth be told, your headline may well get edited anyway for length or messaging. So your job is to make sure it is eminently clear to the editor what this release is about.