Let’s face it – in PR, you wear a lot of hats, and one of the bigger ones has the word WRITER on it. There are all sorts of formats, tones, etc. that a PR pro must be familiar with to drive an effective, integrated approach for its company or client. To name a few: blogs, press releases, social media copy, video scripts and so much more. Each writing assignment comes with a check list of needs: accuracy, ethical integrity, consistency of culture, easily digestible style and more. So, how can we weed through all those steps and remain creative?
It isn’t easy, but here are four tricks that work for me.
Capture your random, “brilliant” thoughts.
- Creativity can strike us at odd times like just before bed, in the shower or on your commute. But it’s important to capture creative thoughts, and if possible, why/when they struck you, so you can start capitalizing on these findings. (Talk to text in my phone’s note app is my savior.)
Free write about a topic you like.
- Even if you don’t intend anyone to ever read it, writing about something that brings you joy can spark creativity in other areas. And hey, if it’s good, you can think about contributing it to a publication or blog that’s meaningful to you. (HINT: we’re always looking for contributors here on the PRSA Detroit blog – email me.)
Don’t judge your first draft.
- Treat your first draft as you should – a FIRST draft. Write what’s in your mind’s eye, get it all down, and THEN start condensing, proofing, etc. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll consistently stifle your creativity if you’re correcting yourself from the first sentence.
Write to others.
- I’m talking old school like snail mail. My New Year’s resolution was to handwrite a letter to someone I admire once a week (so far so good!). Sometimes what to write about comes easy to me (what’s been going on lately, upcoming vacations, etc.), but other times I have to think about it, hard, and I end up writing about a variety of things like why I appreciate someone’s friendship. It’s a fun way to use a different part of your ‘writing’ brain so that it’s more flexible when it’s time to write at work.
Read, read and read some more.
- Reading helps you continue to be a better writer. I know that’s not profound, but sometimes reading goes to the bottom of the priority list when it should be higher up. Reading a variety of genres will keep your brain working in new ways and around the clock.
How do you keep your PR writing fresh and creative?
Megan Bonelli (formerly Peterson) is a Senior Account Executive and Franco, and a Detroit PRSA board member/blog committee chair.
Feature picture from pexels