My textbook for my public relations writing class is Public Relations Writing And Media Techniques, 6th ed. by Dennis L. Wilcox.

This week I read chapter 1 which is titled, “Getting Organized for Writing.” Here are some main points that I think are important.

Public Relations is composed of four core components:

  1. research
  2. planning
  3. communications
  4. evaluation
  • Public relations writing is part of the communications component.

The ability to write well is essential for work in public relations. John Beardsley, chairman and CEO of Padilla Speer Beardsley, quoted saying in The Strategist, “In our business, everything involves language, more so than almost any other activity.”

Before beginning any writing assignment, ask yourself these six questions:

  1. What is the desired communication outcome? In other words, what do we want our audience to do or not do?
  2. Who is our target audience? Defining your audience in terms of age, gender, and educational level helps set the framework of the message.
  3. What are our target audience’s needs, concerns, and interests?
  4. What is our message? Do you want to inform or persuade?
  5. What communication channel is most effective?
  6. Who is our most believable spokesperson?

Once your purpose is clear here are some tips to remember:

  • Sentences should be clear and concise. Sentences should also vary in length, with the average sentence being about 15 to 17 words.
  • Short paragraphs are better than long ones.  The average paragraph should be about six to eight lines.
  • Be conscious of word choice. The general public can read at the fourth- to- sixth grade level so consider that when writing.
  • Use action verbs,  active voice, to make a sentence more direct
  • Write in the present tense