All-PRo Writer

All-PRo Writer

AN INTERVIEW WITH TIMOTHY KENT, FREELANCE PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT AND PRESS RELEASE WRITER

 BFC:  Why is one of America’s most experienced PR pros – somebody who has worked with hundreds of public corporations — writing copy?

TIM:  Just because PR doesn’t buy media doesn’t mean we don’t write copy.  That’s where all content starts.  True, PR copy (and video and photos) regularly get changed by reporters, editors, producers and bloggers; that’s just fine.  The key is that good PR content doesn’t get ignored. Better yet, PR content – whether a news release or other copy written to be repurposed – is ready made to be shared and sharing is what content marketing is all about.

BFC:  What does all this mean in the real world?

 TIM:  Look, think of all PR copy as nothing but a slow pitch written to be shared, repurposed or both. Idea hooks, benefits and competitive advantages are all fashioned to grease the pipeline. I’ve written everything from a 200-year look at Philadelphia Banking to how Sizzler makes a great steak for a low price and all of that copy ended up somewhere in print, broadcast or shared video, rarely in my exact words but usually starting with them.

 BFC:  Where does this copy go since you aren’t paying for media space?

TIM: Some of my copy went straight into corporate annual reports, some news releases ended up as CNN headline news leads and other releases morphed onto the cover of the New York Times or turned up in Congressional testimony… occasionally, all of the above and many other places.

BFC:  Sounds out of control.

 TIM:  Yup, that’s PR and it’s content marketing. The point is: wherever the media and whatever the purpose (or repurpose), it’s the job of PR copy to pull the reader into your story (or convince a thought leader to tell your story for you). When that happens, ideas go viral, sales get made and brands get loved.

BFC: Who made YOU an expert in PR copy?

TIM:  Thank you for that. It started with Gannett Newspapers.  I was a reporter for four years; then U.S. government (EPA) public affairs officer; followed by working inside three different multinational NYSE corporations on the financial PR side and, finally, becoming a management consultant to hundreds of other companies from the start of web.1 to today.

BFC: Things are changing fast.  How do you keep current?

I’m a perpetual student at the Academy of Entertainment Technology, earned a professional degree in cinema in 2010; and will finish another in broadcasting (new media and old) in 2013. Believe me, I know how stories get out there today and am constantly prospecting for new communications channels all the time.

BFC: What’s the biggest difference in your copy today?

TIM: Because thousands of analysts, reporters, bloggers and others are free to pickup, say, a news release verbatim, my audience is not just media pros but the end user of this content. It’s the essence of content marketing, in my view. Getting traction in content marketing requires sharing and sharing requires copy that can stand on its own or be turned on a dime and repurposed.  PR pros have been writing this way for years, so it’s right up my alley.

BFC: Got a favorite piece of your own writing?

TIM:  Nothing I write is wholly original to me.  My clients have all the right stuff.  My job is to help them mine it and transform their own story into media magic.

 Click to contact Timothy Kent via email

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Expertise:  Content marketing, public relations strategy, PR copy, stakeholder consulting, press release writing, crisis management, video apps, video content, journalism, video production, scriptwriting for web, TV and cinema, video directing, motion graphics and digital pre- and post production
Categories:  Environmental issues, biotech, med-tech, healthcare IT, public policy, finance, investing, broadband services, banking, securities analysis, consumer products, industrial products, construction products, financial services, government, public affairs, medicine, health care services, medical staff relations, hospitals, restaurants, start-ups, initial public offerings, venture capital, political campaigns, non-profit foundations, higher education PR, fundraising, nutrition, software instruction, pharmaceuticals, non-invasive diagnostic devices, surgical devices and practices, international business, import/export.

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