August 27, 2013

The writing is on the wall

I also never leave home without a good copy editor!

I also never leave home without a good copy editor!

With all the modern ways of communicating, it still comes down to good writing. Tweets, blogs, web copy and infographics still require dynamic writing that engages your audience. The rules for good PR writing still apply in the social media era. Some say the demands of sound bites and 140 characters make good writing next to impossible. I say these “restrictions” compel us to hone our skills even more!

Public relations and marketing professionals have to communicate complex messages in less “space” to less attentive audiences. Are you up for the challenge? Here are a few quick tips to improve your writing:

    1. Get the point? Good writing is clear and concise. State what you want — and nothing else. Forget the jargon, attempts at humor, long-winded explanations and promotable hashtags. Good writing is simple.
    2. Who cares? Good writing makes your audience care — and then act. That’s the goal!
    3. Remember me? Good writing is memorable. Use the active voice. Avoid clichés. Keep it simple and clean (see #1) and motivational (see #2).

Writing is also always a team sport. Get feedback from others, it helps ensure your strategy and message is on target. Personally, I also never leave home without a good copy editor!

For PR newbies, I say this: If you are looking to start a career in communications, first become a great writer. It’s the only skill that matters. Practice anywhere and anytime you can, and keep perfecting your writing skills. It will pay off!