When asked by a client to repurpose a press release to an article recently, I tackled the task head-on and produced not one, but two brand-spanking-new pieces of landing page content. With a bit of creativity and stakeholder input, you can take content production out of the “too hard” basket.

Creating content doesn’t have to be hard and is essential for a successful content marketing strategy. I’m not saying my job as a senior copywriter is easy-peasy, but there is a hack you can use to create content that supports your sales and marketing efforts, and your content marketing.

Something old, something new
Recently, a client asked me if I could turn one of its already published press releases (PR) into an interesting article. While the two serve very different purposes, I was not turned off by the task at hand. In fact, Ellen Gomes from Marketo says, “Repurposing is wonderful when it’s done with intention (meaning don’t just slice and dice content for the sake of repurposing).”

Before I tell you how you can do this though, let’s take a step back and review the differences between a PR and an article.

Spot the difference
A PR is intended to grab the attention of the press and hopefully have them pick up the story and run with it (if they find it interesting enough). Its tone is not too casual, but not too dry either – bit of a Goldilocks situation here. Leave all of the little details out, only including what’s necessary to bait them.

A news article, on the other hand, is one that demonstrates the spirit or essence of your company and reels in the reader who is hopefully amongst your target audience. The intention may be to raise awareness of your company, its products and services or to attract new talent. Whatever the purpose, it should be interesting enough to hook your audience.

To support the point that the tone of a press release is not too casual and not too dry. Goldilocks was fussy about the porridge. It’s the same with press releases. Not too casual, not too dry.

The how-to
So when faced with the task of turning the PR into an article, a full understanding of the purpose of each content type was very important. It prescribes the tone you use as well as the main messages to get across.

While you can actually copy and paste the PR word-for-word and change some sentences here and there, this may cause you damage in the long run. Google penalizes company websites that do this often.

Instead, my approach was to interview the main stakeholder mentioned in the PR. Together with the content owner, we went through the throes of exploring main messages, discussing project outcomes and jotting down potential quotes that could lift the article, giving it more “human-feels”.

It became evident that there were two themes that could be expressed in article form. An employer branding opportunity to attract new talent, as well as a chance to showcase innovation. What a goldmine! A PR that offered not one, but two distinct articles. Granted, they were both about the same project, but pulling out different parts to highlight in each one made them noticeably different.

Nailed it
I’m going to quote Ellen again because she pretty much nails it with this piece of advice: “Take a look at the content that you have and how it has or hasn’t resonated with its target audience, and see if you can distribute it in different ways to capture some more of the success or turn a ‘blah’ asset into a success by offering it in a more consumable format.”

What is the lesson I’m sharing here? Next time you’re thinking, “It’s too hard”, think again. New content may be sitting right under your nose. It just needs some thinking outside the box. Perhaps a little bit of imagination, too.

I urge you to give it a go. But if you truly are stretched for time, you can read more about the copywriting service we offer at cylindr – a team of native-English writers awaits you.

About the author

David Hoskin is a sustainability communications consultant with a background in marketing, brand communications and business strategy. With a passion for storytelling and a focus on sustainable practices, David helps organizations achieve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. His work includes developing sustainability reports and stakeholder engagement programs for employees, customers and investors. Driven by a personal commitment to biodiversity and nature conservation, David aims to integrate sustainability into core business operations, making it a strategic asset within organizational cultures.