The Three Commandments of Quality Writing


Jon Gelberg

With so much content being produced these days and so many media and social media outlets to choose from, it is a daily battle for PR pros to get their messages across to their target audiences. While there’s a lot of content being produced much of it is being ignored because the quality of writing is wanting.

People are always offering tips on how to improve your writing, but if I was forced to choose just three, it would be these:

  1. Write the way you speak: Mediocre writing is often the by-product of trying too hard. Don’t think of yourself as a writer, think of yourself as a communicator. You are telling a story, delivering a message. Before you start writing talk it out in your head. Imagine you are at a party and tell the story to a friend. You'd be amazed how much this can simplify the process.

  2. Just the facts: In the fast-paced world of social media and 24-hour news cycles, there is a temptation to write first and check facts later. This is a huge mistake. When you get your facts wrong, you damage your firm’s credibility, your client’s brand and your personal reputation.

  3. Capture your audience’s attention and capture it quickly: Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter while the volume of available information is growing exponentially. To get your message across, you need strong, subject lines, headlines and leads. If you don’t “have them at hello,” they are going to say goodbye.


These are my big three. What are yours? Let me know your thoughts.

Jon Gelberg is the editorial director for PR News. You can follow him on Twitter @Jon_gelberg.

 


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