Strengthening Your Writing Skills: The Heart and Soul of Effective PR
The February 2016 edition of Public Relations Tactics was the annual writing issue, and it was chock full of valuable and pertinent information every public relations specialist should know. From perfecting your prose and refusing short cuts, to enhancing your reputation and becoming a better editor, there were plenty of valuable nuggets of information for every reader.
Perfect your prose
No special event, op-ed, media strategy, or website happens without prose. This prose must be catchy, punchy, inviting and fluid—able to move from medium to medium. Paul Dusseult of FleishmanHillard says, “Top-tier writing requires expert storytellers who read constantly and capture, analyze and synthesize information quickly. In other words, they possess the skills clients look for when seeking counsel on a host of strategic communications questions.”
Don’t use shortcuts
In the current “text message” society in which we live, verbal and written shortcuts have become the norm. However, to be proficient in media and public relations, one must have a strong command of the written word. Donovan Roche, vice-president of strategic services at Havas Formula states, “In this profession, good writing is the bread to our media relations butter. If you’re not a solid writer, then you don’t belong in public relations.”
Enhance your reputation with a white paper
One of the most effective methods a PR professional can use to market a product or position their client as an expert in their field is a well-written white paper. A white paper often provides expert opinions, insights on new trends or viewpoints that may differ from the mainstream. When it comes to a well-written white papers, they should be customized, practical, valuable, marketable, understandable and most importantly, intellectually stimulating.
Become a better editor
There are numerous tricks of the trade to assist you in becoming a better editor. However, good writing comes from a combination of writing, rewriting, trimming, shaping and refining your draft. Having an honest writing companion who will review and critique your material; reading your copy at least three times; and finally, understanding the difference between editing and proofreading will strengthen your writing abilities.
Overall, being a more efficient writer should always be a goal in becoming a better communicator, marketer and public relations specialist. Using some of these tips will fortify your writing and make you stand out amongst your peers.