Writing is a strong pillar of the PR industry (no surprises there!). I won’t lie, at the beginning of my career flexing, different writing muscles was a challenge for me – but an enjoyable one. I love the adventure of identifying the correct platform, tone, cadence and language for all my clients now. But now and again, I fall victim to over-explaining or using ‘inside baseball’ language. Here are four tips I use to crawl back out to clarify.
This is a no brainier but incredibly important to remember. I have this written on a sticky note on my desk. Being concise gets the point across quicker and simpler in our culture of ‘always skimming.’ Also, bullet points and subheads are our friends. Whether it’s a blog, pitch or release, bullet points and subheads break up text in a way that’s easy to consume.
How many acronyms does one organization need? One million, okay. But just remember that no one else knows them. They don’t necessarily know the everyday jargon you use either. Keep things simple by ensuring that practically anyone reading what you write will be able to understand (with the exception of internal pieces and highly attuned trade publications, of course).
Visuals Visuals Visuals
No picture, no post. Period. Help your target audiences by not only painting a picture with your words, but by literally providing an image. Or better yet, a video and/or multiple images. Journalists want multimedia, as do your social media audiences, employees, customers and everyone in between. Phone pictures are fine (so long as they’re high-resolution), but get creative and think about infographics or other visuals too.
Don’t bury the lead. Explain the call to action (CTA) in the beginning and end of your writing materials. When possible, include a hyperlink so the user has an easy way to complete the CTA for you. Make. Things. Easy.
What keeps you clear headed when writing? I’d love to hear from you.
Megan Bonelli (formerly Peterson) is a Senior Account Executive and Franco and a Detroit PRSA board member/blog committee chair.
Feature picture from pexels