Only three per cent of editors believe articles contributed by PR professionals are usually well written, according to a survey for the Writing for Publication Masterclass.
“Common complaints are that articles failed to match the agreed brief, that they contain too much promotional material or that, simply, they are too boring,” said Peter Bartram, who runs the half-day Masterclass and is also the author of several books on writing skills.
Seventy-five editors from a wide range of newspapers and magazines were asked to rate the average quality of the PR articles they receive on a scale of one (well written) to five (badly written).
Nearly three-quarters of the editors (72 per cent) ranked the articles at between three and five – articles that are not good enough for publication. In fact, 13% rated the articles at the worst point on the scale.
The editor of a national finance magazine complained: “Contributed articles are always badly written – especially by writers who think they’re the funniest experts in the industry.”
But other editors said they’d received good articles to publish and would like more.
“The best article offers are perfectly aimed at my readers, arrive at the right time, tell me quickly if they are going to be relevant, and promptly back up the information with an image on request,” said the editor of a regional consumer magazine.
The survey also found that the 75 editors receive an average of 22 offers of contributed articles a week. But numbers varied widely with the editor of a Sunday newspaper receiving nearly 300 a week.
The Writing for Publication Masterclass, which takes place in London on 8 October, is aimed at PR and marketing professionals who want to raise their article writing game. It includes sessions on how to write an attention-grabbing synopsis, structure articles in different ways, keep readers interested and submit copy to editors.
More information and online booking at http://www.writingforpublication.co.uk
For further information: contact Peter Bartram on 01273 565505 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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