What’s the difference between a press release, a blog, and a social post?

As comms professionals, being well-versed in the varying forms of the written word is something we pride ourselves on — whether it’s a light-hearted social media post, informative blog, or a longer, more compelling press release.

But something we’re often asked about these types of content is, ‘what’s the difference?’ and ‘how can you tell which one we should be using?’

To offer a little steer, here are some simple identifiers to help you get started…

Fire it on social

With billions of users scrolling through their social media feeds, it’s important for organisations to invest time and energy into joining the conversation and increasing their online presence.

A company’s social media profile should offer followers an insight into the firm’s soul, provide exciting behind-the-scenes developments from company HQ, demonstrate industry knowledge, and commentate on breaking news within its sector.

Try to keep your posts short and sweet, paired with attention-grabbing images to stop scrollers in their tracks.

Mapping out a well-researched content strategy on a month-to-month basis — while peppering in of-the-moment news — can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Update the blog

We opt for a chattier, conversational tone in our blogs — one where you can practically hear the author reciting the words as you read them.

Usually tackling an interesting or topical subject matter, blogs can be shorter, snappier pieces of copy which offer followers updates in quickfire bursts. Thought leadership pieces, which showcase your expertise on a certain theme, are also great for engagement and tend to be much longer in wordcount.

Use sub-headers, vibrant images, videos, and eye-catching infographics – where suitable – to help divide your content into bite-sized, accessible chunks too!

Drafting and distributing a press release

Perhaps the most formal piece of the three options, this copy should target journalists who are on the hunt for an exclusive story. Within the content, it’s important to identify your of-the-moment news hook — utilise facts and figures and provide vital insight about a new product or service, appointments, developments within the business, or an upcoming event.

Typically, a press release would include a sharp headline to grab the reader’s attention, a relevant quote from a knowledgeable spokesperson, factual information throughout, a brief summary of the organisation and, of course, at least one killer image to run alongside it — say no to the selfie!

When used correctly, this ‘gritty’ type of content can build significant brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and boost your visibility in the search engines.

We know it’s not always easy to decide which form to take on. If you’re still unsure, we’re only a call or click away.

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Written by Alice Kelly