When you start a business, your plate gets piled high. Regardless of what industry you fall under, you’re much more than an owner. You handle client interaction, outreach, staffing, accounting … and the list goes on.
One position that many new business owners don’t typically think of right off the bat is copywriter. But unless you immediately outsource to a freelancer, you’re probably going to find a good chunk of your time being spent writing things such as:
Now, business writing is handled in different ways depending on the type of piece you’re composing. And one place novices usually get things wrong is in what point of view they write in. Most specifically, they get mixed up between second and third person.
That said, I’d like clear up the mess and help you make sure you’re getting it correct. I’ll begin by defining each:
Second Person Point Of View
This is the point of view you take when you are speaking directly to the reader. You address them directly as “you.”
2nd Person Writing Example:
You will love our product because it will save you time.
Third Person Point Of View
For our purposes, we will simply define third person as when you do not refer to the reader directly. Instead of saying “you,” you speak of them as if they are not part of the conversation.
3rd Person Writing Example:
The buyer will love this product because he will be able to use it to save time.
When Should You Use Second Person vs Third Person?
By nature, we tend to write in third person. That’s because it’s drilled in us all through high school and college. It’s considered a faux pas to ever address the reader in a work of academia. However, when it comes to business writing, the opposite almost always applies.
As mentioned above, press releases should be written in third person, because they are not sales pieces, they are providing information for the media to use, and journalists are supposed to be objective third parties.
That’s great, but this brings up a bigger question:
Most companies don’t, and that becomes blindingly clear when we see the press releases they produce.
That’s why our team of professional editors oftentimes works with our clients to rewite key elements of their press releases as we distribute them to the media, usually focusing on the headline and the initial hook.
But I’m going to step beyond this and make a bold statement:
You need a press release writing and distribution expert on your team.
This person does not have to be full time, and doesn’t even have to be an employee.
But when you have a press release writing and distribution expert on your team, you tend to:
Between our press release writing expertise and our press release distribution specialty, our team of professional editors can add true expertise and capabilities to your team at a fraction of the cost of hiring a team member.
May I suggest you book a call with one of our professional editors to discuss how we can provide that expertise for your company?
Hope that clears things up for you. Let me know if you have any questions!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (https://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: https://www.ereleases.com/free-offer/pr-checklist/
Thanks for the clarity.