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PR Writing Tips from Wilcox


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PR Writing Tips from Wilcox

  1. 1. PR WRITINGHow would you write?
  2. 2. BASIC SKILLS FOR SUCCESS IN PR(FRASER SEITEL, COMMUNICATIONSCUNSLTANT & AUTHOR OF THE PRACTICE OFPUBLIC RELATIONS)• Knowledge of Public Relations• Knowledge of Current Events• Knowledge of Business• Knowledge of Management• Knowledge of Communications
  3. 3. KNOWLEDGE OF COMMUNICATIONS“At best, PR practitioners are professionalcommunicators. Communications is their skill. Thatmeans they must be best writers, speakers, mediaexperts, communication theorists, etc. in theorganization.” Seitel
  4. 4. WRITING GUIDELINES (WILCOX, 2009)• Outlining the Purpose“I try to delve into the minds of the readers. What is the main benefit tothem? What do they want to know about the subject?” JulieGoldsborough, president of Kansas Public Relations Firm • Major Topics • Minor Topics • Facts • Statistics • Examples • Quotes
  5. 5. WRITING GUIDELINES (WILCOX, 2009)• Sentences • 15 to 17 words • 25 to 30: Difficult for a college-educated audience• Paragraph • Journalistic Style: 6-8 typeset lines • Lead paragraphs: 2-3 lines• Word Choice • Fourth- to sixth-grade level • An estimated 30 million adults in the U.S. lack basic reading skills and often cannot comprehend messages written beyond the second-grade level.
  6. 6. WRITING GUIDELINES (WILCOX, 2009)• Active Voice • The annual report produced a disappointed reaction among the board of directors → The annual report disappointed the board of directors• Imagery • “If all the system’s customers lined up along the equator, a thirsty consumer could purchase a Coca-Cola every 16 feet” A recent annual report of Coca-Cola • “If Mr. Gates’ fortune were converted to dollor bills, it would take 296 747s to fly the pile from Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters to New York. And once there, the loot would cover every square inch of Manhattan, not just once, but six times.”
  7. 7. ADVICE FROM KATIE BADEUSZ (RAGAN.COM)• Be clear • Don’t Neglect the First Paragraph• Use Action Verbs • Include Quotes• Apply Active Voice • Write with Your Ear (Revise!!)• Avoid Jargon • Allow Yourself to Write Crap• Focus on People (Let your thoughts go!!) • Take Chances (Why should I care? So what?)