Writing Fundamentals to PR: 3 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills Today
The Herald Group prides itself on excellent written communication for our clients. What I’m sure everyone at the firm can agree on, and what we’ve all probably heard time and time again, is that if you want to be in this industry then you better start writing— and writing well. No matter what area of PR you are in, writing is vital and there is just no way to get around it. If you can’t write, it is nearly impossible to implement the typical fundamentals of this profession like press releases, proposals, research memorandums, emails, etc.
As a new member of THG’s team, not only have I witnessed the necessity of writing but writing with urgency too! Regrettably, as a recent college grad, I swore to turn in my writing pass the moment I walked across the stage. Like most people the idea of writing well, let alone doing so with a tight deadline, can be stressful and overwhelming. After a little research and trial and error, here are three helpful tips to strengthen your writing.
- Read— It’s not just something you do in school. Whether it’s your favorite magazine, newspaper, or book, reading helps inspire our writing craft by introducing us to authors and their different writing techniques. The more you read, the more exposed you will be and the better your writing will become. However, what I have found most helpful is reading what others at your firm have written, that way, you get a sense for the writing style where you are.
- Just write— Needless to say but the only way to actually improve your writing is to write! Sometimes writing about your favorite topic or something of interest can help motivate you and strengthen your writing technique too. You don’t have to start off writing a three-page, note-worthy article either. Try creating a blog or simply using a journal; the key is to write something. THG’s very own, Meghan Burris, declared that her blog (meghankburris.com) began in search of getting more writing experience. “I was a young 20-something trying to break into a career in PR. I knew I wanted to improve my writing skills and start branding myself as a PR professional. I also knew I wanted to help others learn from my experiences. So, voilà! I started my own blog,” she said.
- Walk away, then come back—When writing, leave it for maybe 10-20 minutes (depending on your time constraint). When you return you’ll notice better ways to shorten a lengthy sentence or communicate that vague thought that’s been giving you a hard time. Although minor in concept, taking a breather and stepping away from a writing piece can improve your written communication skills immensely.
Let us know what you think! How has writing helped you in your career as a PR professional? What tips do you have on improving your writing technique, especially under a tight deadline?