What Is Ghostwriting? How It Can Build Your Brand Tone of Voice

What is ghostwriting? Well, thankfully, there is nothing scary about this term! It’s a term used in digital PR and relates to the fact that building a brand requires more than just deciding on colour schemes, fonts, graphics and brand messaging. It involves creating a marketing strategy that includes multi-channel activity, including digital PR.

PR is a powerful marketing tool that can help drive brand awareness and expose businesses to their target audience. However, to do this successfully, the PR team must understand the company’s brand guidelines to build newsworthy stories relevant to the company’s sector which sound like that business. Along with finding out the client’s background story and tone of voice, PR also involves ghostwriting so that content can be created as and when it needs to without an elongated approval process which can slow a story’s release date and threaten its relevancy which, in this sector of digital marketing, is essential.

Our digital PR team at Embryo are well versed in ghostwriting, campaign ideation, and creating eye-catching news stories for brands, regardless of sector. From start to finish they ensure your brand is found in the right publications for all the right reasons. If you want to leverage the power of PR get in touch by phone on 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

What is Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the process of writing a piece of copy under someone else’s name. For example, a PR lead will be required to write a press release and quote on behalf of another person. Business owners can benefit from ghostwriting as PR experts will use this reactive PR strategy to help boost their brand profile and interact with their target audience.

However, before you dive into writing up your story and ghostwriting some comments on behalf of a business or individual, it’s essential to talk to the person you’re planning to write commentary for, as it will allow you to get to know them. When interviewing the person you’re ghostwriting for, it’s important to think about the narrative and structure of the piece you’re writing. Asking the right questions is extremely important when writing quotes on behalf of another person, as it will help guide you on what tone of voice is appropriate for that individual or business spokesperson. Taking the time to find out about their job role and interests will help give you ideas on news topics that are appropriate and relevant for that business.

How to create and use their brand voice for media opportunities?

Depending on the media opportunity, it’s important to access and review if the news topic you’re responding to is appropriate for that individual to comment on. Most journalists will be keen to speak to experts to get their opinion for their story, so it’s always worth double-checking how they plan to use comments for their next article as it could be a sensitive topic. So always think of the brand and person you’re representing before you outreach and write up any quotes for someone else, as the byline will be associated with that comment.

What is the news hook?

To help protect the brand you represent, you want to ensure that the story you’re commenting on is in the person’s best interest and wouldn’t be used in the incorrect context. You can do this by asking the journalists more about their story and what sort of commentary or news angle they’re looking to focus on, as this can help you decide if it’s a media opportunity to go after. Also, be aware of the story’s narrative and if this will include any political views, financial information or comments from competitors, as this could damage a brand’s reputation. So, always think about how best to position the brand in a positive way for any media opportunity that you spot, as you want to use ghostwriting as an opportunity to allow that person to become an expert in their field. We recommend always looking at historical news stories written by the reporter to help give you an idea of their writing style and if it’s the right match for the profile you’re trying to push in the media.

Does that person have the credentials?

Having all the background information possible from the person, you’re ghostwriting about is crucial, as journalists frequently ask for evidence of people’s qualifications and experience in their industry. Whether they’re a CEO, psychologist or finance expert, they will want to have this information fact-checked before they publish any comments you’ve written on behalf of that person. Sending this information with your comments to the reporter will also help build the brand’s credibility and protect them in case readers challenge comments that have been shared in the press.

Can you get this approved quickly?

Ghostwriting quotes can be straightforward. However, before anything gets published, the person you’re writing a byline for needs to see the quotes you’ve written before they get sent to the journalist. Doing this will help build trust and also allow that person to see that you understand their brand and voice. Showing examples of your work can also help you build a strong relationship with that individual. Eventually, over time, you will become more confident in producing on behalf of that person as the quotes you have written link back to the news topic and reference information about their job role, interests and location, which can help boost their personal branding.

Be flexible and be ready for amendments

Be receptive to feedback and give yourself time to make any last-minute amends. Quite often PRs will need to cut quotes down or amend them due to the news changing that day. So be prepared to tweak a few comments to make them more relevant to the journalist’s story. By following this approach, you will be linking back to the topic and building more of a credible quote for the person you’re writing on behalf of in the press.

Finally, look out for human error

Always check over any comments you write up on behalf of someone else before you send them to the journalists. If you’re typing up something quickly, you may not have spotted a spelling mistake or typo, so it’s important to get these double-checked before you send the quotes to the journalist. We also recommend asking the reporter if you can review the copy before it gets published to fact-check it. However, this isn’t always possible as journalists do not have the time to always send this over for the PR to see. So, if this is the case, please make sure you always read over any content that gets published and ask for any amends if you spot something that doesn’t match up to the commentary you’ve provided that publication.

After Ghostwriting and More From Your Digital PR experts? Get In Touch

Now you know what ghostwriting is and how vital it is for your PR success, why not speak to our team about how our processes can help your brand be seen in national and industry publications for all the right reasons? By harnessing your tone of voice we are able to create eye-catching, headline-creating content and campaigns that journalists love. Our list of contacts in journalism is vast and covers many newspapers, publications, and online blogs making us the ideal agency to work with regardless of sector.

To learn more, speak to our team by phone at 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].


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