‘Keeping it Real’ the Recipe for Appetizing PR Writing


Doreen Jarman, Tableau Software

It is arguably the Achilles’ heel of business communications: vague, cliché-ridden copy. There are countless meetings and webinars talking about the importance of crafting PR content as if you are a journalist and about avoiding industry jargon—with good reason.

Doreen Jarman, PR manager of Tableau Software, will speak at PR News’ Writing Boot Camp in San Francisco on Feb. 4, during a session titled, “How to Spot the Jargon, Cliches and Catchphrases in Your Own PR Content.” She offers a few initial tips here on how PR practitioners can improve their writing chops.

> Avoid using acronyms, especially when it comes to tech. Acronyms alienate anyone outside of your own industry. They can also mean different things in different industries. Describe your product or service in simple terms that everyone can understand.

> Keep it human; users and consumers are people, so refer to them as such. Avoid using words such as "users," "consumers" or "customers" if you’re referring to all people. Sometimes referring to a particular group of customers or consumers is necessary, but try to talk about broader groups in friendlier terms like "people," "kids," etc.

> Use real people or company examples whenever possible. Your audience would much rather hear about how an actual person or company is using your product or service. Real experiences are a lot more relatable than company messaging.

To learn more about improving your PR writing for various platforms, register for PR News' February 4 Writing Boot Camp, which will take place at the Westin San Francisco.

Follow Doreen Jarman: @tableau

Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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