Sunday, November 11, 2007

chapter 16: Public Relations Writing

PR professionals: professional communicators

I) Writing for the Eye and the Ear:

PR pple are horrible writers

The chapter explores fundamentals of writing: 1) discussing PR writing in general and news releases in particular, 2) reviewing writing for reading, and 3) discussing writing for listening

writing for a reader diff than writing for a listener

a listener has only one chance to hear the msg once

II) Fundamentals of writing:

a four-part formula for writers, from the novice to the novemist

The idea must preced the expression: think before writing. The trick in coming up with clever ideas lies more in borrowing old ones than in creating new ones

Don't be afraid of the draft. an outline should precede the draft

Simplify, clarify: avoid jargon, complex words
Finally, writing must be aimed at a particular audience: avoid imprecision, ambiguity
III) Flesh Readability Formula:

Flesch gave 7 suggestions for making writing more readable

Use contractions such as it's or does'nt
Leave out the word that whenver possible
Use pronouns such as I, we, they and you
when referring back to a noun, repeat the noun or use a pronoun. Don't create eloquent substitutions
Use brief, clear sentences
Cover only one item per paragraph
Use anguage the reader undertsands
Avoid big words
avoid extra words
avoid clich├ęs
avoid latin
Be specific
Be active
Be simple
Be short
Be organized
Be convincing
be understandable
IV) The Beauty of the Inverted Pyramid

The climax of a newspaper story comes at the begining
The lead of a story is the first one or two paragraphs=> inverted pyramid
Lead answers qst: 5W
V) The News Release

Releases are poorly written (difficult to read)
Releases are rarely localized (it is used when it is localized)
Releases are not newsworthy. what determines its worthiness? Impact, oddity, conflict, knwon principal, proximity, also human interest stories
The product announcement:
The Management change: newspapers interested in that
The Management Speech
VI) News Release Style

TYpical Style rules:

VII) News Release Essentials

No Puffery
Nourishing quotes
Limit Jargon
Company Description
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation
Clarity, conciseness, committment
VIII) Internet News Releases

ONe reporter per 'to' line
Limit subject line headers
Boldface 'For Immediate Release'
Hammer home to headline
Limit Length
Observe 5W format
No attachment
Link to URL
Remember Readability
IX) The Media Kit:

a calling card to introduce org to the media

The biography
Fact Sheets, Q&As, Photos and So on
Etc, Etc, etc.
X) The Pitch Letter:

A sales letter, pure and simple

XI) Other Print VEhicles:

The case History
The Byliner
The Op_Ed
The Roundup Article
XII) Writing for the ear:

evry spokespercson possesses 5 main characteristics:

it is designed to be heard, not read
it uses concrete language
it demands a positive response
it must have clear-cut ibjectives
it must be tailored to a specific audience
XIII) The importance of editing:

an editor must be judicious, get rid of passive verbs, must be gusty enough to use bold strokes

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