With so many businesses competing for attention, it's essential to create content that stands out from the crowd. One way to do this is to pitch your story to the media in the form of a press release, or perhaps an opinion piece.
Clearly, press releases and opinion pieces are both useful tools for anyone trying to raise awareness about a brand. However, they do serve very different purposes, which is why it's so important to understand the difference between the two.
Read on to learn more about the difference between opinion pieces and press releases — and which one might be the better option for you.
An opinion piece, also known as a viewpoint or op-ed, is a type of writing in which a journalist, reporter, public relations professional (on behalf of their client) or public figure offers their opinion on a particular topic. Unlike a news article, which presents the facts surrounding a story, an opinion piece allows the writer to share their thoughts and feelings on the issue at hand.
"...an opinion piece allows the writer to share their thoughts and feelings on the issue at hand."
Opinion pieces are often published in newspapers and magazines, but can also be found on websites and social media platforms. They are typically written by someone who is familiar with the topic at hand and offers their perspective on it.
The purpose of an opinion piece is to offer readers insight into the author's thoughts on a particular topic. It can help them better understand the issue at hand and how they feel about it. Opinion pieces can also be used to spark debate and discussion around important topics.
"The purpose of an opinion piece is to offer readers insight into the author's thoughts on a particular topic."
A press release is a public relations tool that notifies journalists of important news. The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of the media and encourage them to write an article about whatever the press release is about.
"The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of the media and encourage them to write an article about whatever the press release is about."
Press releases should be written in a clear and concise manner (often in an inverted pyramid style), and include all the relevant information journalists need to write a story. Press releases should also include a contact name and phone number so reporters can get in touch for more information.
Generally, public relations professionals use press releases to announce new products, services, or company initiatives; to promote events; and to share news about awards or accomplishments.
Journalists and reporters are typically looking for factual information when compiling their stories, so they are more likely to use press releases as a resource rather than refer to an opinion piece. However, if an opinion piece provides new insights or offers a unique perspective on an issue, reporters may be interested in interviewing the author for further clarification or to get more insight on an issue.
"Journalists and reporters are typically looking for factual information when compiling their stories, so they are more likely to use press releases..."
Most importantly, content creators can help influence which type of content is more likely to be published by tailoring it to the journalist's interests and needs.
Ok, so when you have something to say, and you want the media to pay attention, should you write an op-ed or a press release?
The answer is: it depends.
"Ok, so when...you want the media to pay attention, should you write an op-ed or a press release? The answer is: it depends."
An op-ed, or opinion editorial, is a great way to share your views on a current event or issue with the public as you have more freedom to express your ideas. However, it's less likely to get run in its entirety.
A press release is more formal, but is specifically designed to pique the interest of the media and encourage them to cover your story. However, for it to be effective, it needs to be fact-based, concise, and include all the essential information journalists need to write about your announcement.
According to the experts, it appears that when you want to hook the media's attention, it might be best to write an op-ed for a particular media outlet. However, if you're looking for a more general audience and want the journalist to interview you (or your client), you should probably opt for a press release.
Either way, whichever you choose, be sure to tailor your story to the audience you are hoping to reach.
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