Register now for PR News’ May 14  Writing Boot Camp at the historic National Press Club in Washington D.C., and get a one-day immersion in the craft of effective writing. You’ll get the how-to’s from expert trainers in writing optimized and shareable press releases, crafting email pitches that stand a chance of getting opened by journalists, writing content for mobile devices, applying storytelling concepts to your PR writing and much more.

The Early Bird Rate Ends July 17! 

We look forward to seeing you on May 14—and bring your laptop or tablet for a day of interactive learning. Don't forget to also join us the following day for our PR Measurement Conference, which will also be held at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. 


  • Pamela Baker-Masson, Associate Director of Communications, Smithsonian National Zoo
  • Don Bates, Instructor in Writing and Clinical Assistant Professor, New York University
  • Ephraim Cohen, EVP of Technology and Digital Content, MWW
  • Jim Holtje, Author, The Power of Storytelling
  • Danielle Leitch, Executive Vice President, MoreVisibility
  • Lawrence J. Parnell, Associate Professor and Program Director, Masters in Strategic PR, George Washington University
  • Dan Ronan, Senior Director of Communications, American Bus Association
  • Howard Sholkin, Director, Communications and Marketing Programs, IDG Global Solutions
  • Jonathan D. Salant, Money and Politics Reporter, Bloomberg News
  • Allison Sitch, Vice President, Global Public Relations, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company


8:35 – 9:15 a.m.Writing Do's and Don'ts for Communicators
9:15 – 10:30 a.m.The Next-Generation Press Release
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.Networking Break
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.Writing Clinic I: The Press Release and the Craft of Revision
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.Networking Break
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.Luncheon & Keynote Presentation
12:45 – 1:00 p.m.Networking Break
1:00 – 1:30 p.m.Mobile Communications: Write Right for Mobile
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.SEO and Writing for the Web
2:15 – 2:35 p.m.Writing Clinic II: Optimizing Your PR Content
2:35 – 2:45 p.m.Networking Break
2:45 – 3:30 p.m.How to Craft Emails for Media Relations Success
3:30 – 4:00 p.m.Make the Leap From Online Communications to Online Storytelling

What We'll Cover

PR News recently asked its audience on Facebook what it felt was the most undervalued PR skill, and many PR pros said it was writing. Writing is undervalued probably because it is assumed that if you’re a PR pro, you’re a good writer by nature. That may be true—but are you an effective PR writer? Therein lies the difference.

Effective PR writing is the bedrock of a successful PR career. It underlies all of your individual efforts and all of your team efforts. Effective PR writing powers successful email pitches to journalists, internal memos and emails, client pitches, press releases, social media campaigns, blog posts…the list goes on. And to be an effective PR writer, you can’t stand still and reread Strunk & White every two years.

8:35-9:15 a.m. - Writing Do's and Don'ts for Communicators

You’ve had that experience of reading a fellow communicator’s email, press release or blog post and cringing when you spot empty jargon and overused catchphrases, typos, buried leads and a lack of true understanding of a product or service. Worse, you’ve cringed when you’ve reread your own material after sending or publishing it, and spotted the same kinds of missteps. We’ll give you a fast-paced rundown of rules you can almost always write by, and habits to avoid.

You'll learn how to:

  • Avoid “padding” such as needless adjectives, hyperbole and overused, empty catchphrases
  • Determine the business reason for a document before typing a single word
  • Put your intended audience or reader at the center of your written communications, instead of yourself
  • Focus on the benefits to the reader of your product or service in your written materials, instead of on its features and internally perceived uniqueness
  • Adhere to basic rules of grammar, and choose from a list of reference guides
  • Simplify your language and avoid the use of complex or vague industry jargon
Dan Ronan
Senior Director of Communications
American Bus Association
Howard Sholkin
Director, Communications and Marketing Programs
IDG Global Solutions

9:15-10:30 a.m. - The Next-Generation Press Release

Press releases are far from extinct or irrelevant. In the age of content marketing, when brands are depended upon and expected to provide useful content, press releases have reasserted themselves as efficient and concise vehicles for brand messages and news. Journalists must also now do much more with less, and your well-crafted, searchable press releases can ease their burden and advance your brand’s business interests. Our trainers will show you how to craft releases for the age of SEO, social media and downsized or nonexistent newsrooms. 
You'll learn how to:

  • Write killer press release headlines
  • Make sure the tone of your subject line and headline matches the content of your press release
  • Use worthwhile, meaningful quotations
  • Include all of your contact information (including social feeds) in a prominent locations in e-mails and press releases
  • Use basic SEO tactics to increase the searchability of your press release
  • Increase the shareability of your press releases
Pamela Baker-Masson
Associate Director of Communications
Smithsonian National Zoo
Don Bates
Instructor in Writing and Clinical Assistant Professor
New York University

10:30-10:45a.m. - Networking Break

10:45 - 11:30 a.m. - Writing Clinic I: The Press Release and the Craft of Revision

Our press release trainers Don Bates and Pamela Baker-Masson and PR News editorial staff will assist you in the editing of a sample press release sent in advance by Boot Camp participants (all Boot Camp participants will need to bring a laptop or tablet).

11:30 - 11:45 a.m. - Networking Break

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Luncheon & Keynote Presentation – Tell Me a Story: How to Add Impact to all Your Communications Efforts

Of all the communications tools available to PR and corporate communications professionals today, storytelling may be among the oldest, but most impactful. In his luncheon keynote presentation, Jim Holtje, author of The Power of Storytelling: Captivate, Convince or Convert Any Business Audience Using Stories From Top CEOs, will show PR practitioners how to:

  • Understand the power of storytelling to move audiences
  • Play the role of reporter to gather stories from inside their organization
  • Use "whole-brain thinking" in their writing—balancing the left brain (analytical) with the right brain (creative) for maximum impact
Jim Holtje
Author, The Power of Storytelling: Captivate, Convince or Convert Any Business Audience Using Stories From Top CEOs

12:45 - 1:00 p.m. - Networking Break

1:00 - 1:30 p.m. - Mobile Communications: Write Right for Mobile

If you want to succeed as a PR pro, you need to think small—small as in mobile phones and “phablets.” This forward-looking session will show you what the future of digital communications looks like, what the limitations of small screen will mean for your PR writing, and what opportunities they will open.

You'll learn how to:

  • Write concise content that doesn’t test the impatience of mobile users
  • Create the kind of fun content mobile users love, such as lists and news briefs
  • Tweet and post on Facebook with the small, mobile screen in mind
  • Tailor your content for specific demographics
  • Optimize your content specifically for mobile devices
Ephraim Cohen
EVP of Technology and Digital Content

1:30 - 2:15 p.m. - SEO and Writing for the Web

Landing at the top of search results is the Holy Grail for many brands as it can generate new customers, raise brand awareness and drive the bottom line. With recent updates to Google’s search including Panda and Penguin, refining your optimization strategy is a must. Knowing how to use keywords in press releases and create shareable content are essential tactics to getting your messages heard by your target audience—and beyond.

You'll learn to:

  • Research target keywords and implement them to gain better visibility and increase brand exposure on search engines
  • Blend persuasive writing with the right keywords to make your content visible in Web searches and lure audiences—and keep them on your site
  • Optimize press releases and headlines to generate media coverage
  • Emphasize the shareability of all of your written content
  • Determine the ideal amount of links to use in your PR content to boost SEO
Danielle Leitch
Executive Vice President

2:15 - 2:35 p.m. - Writing Clinic II: Optimizing Your PR Content

Our SEO trainer Danielle Leitch will present you with a scenario in which you will optimize sample content based on what you have already learned.

2:35 - 2:45 p.m. - Networking Break

2:45 - 3:30 p.m. - How to Craft Emails for Media Relations Success

Getting coverage for your product or service is not your goal as a media relations professional, it’s merely your reward. Your true—and first—goal as a media relations pro is to make the lives of journalists and other influencers easier. And the best way to do that is to craft emails and subject lines that pop and scream: “Open me! This pitch may be perfect for you and if it’s not, at the very least it won’t annoy you and take up your time.” Learn how to use emails not just for pitching journalists but to also build relationships.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Write concise email subject lines
  • Avoid subject lines that tease but aren’t backed up by the email’s content
  • Include the central idea of your pitch in your email headline
  • Apply best practices like putting your company’s or client’s name in the email headline
  • Determine prime times for sending email pitches
  • Confine your entire email pitch to one paragraph
Lawrence J. Parnell
Associate Professor and Program Director
Masters in Strategic PR
George Washington University
Jonathan D. Salant
Money and Politics Reporter
Bloomberg News

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. - Make the Leap From Online Communications to Online Storytelling

Our trainer will show you how PR pros can use storytelling tactics for their companies and clients as an alternative to the standard media pitches and press releases. You’ll learn how to deliver exactly what your customers want to hear; effectively ensure that tactics used will tell your brand’s story in the best possible way; create content that aligns with your storytelling concepts; and effectively use storytelling to lift your pitches above the hard-sell fray.

You'll learn how to:

  • Spot opportunities within your organization for brand storytelling
  • Tell your brand's story through social media
  • Understand how effective storytelling relates to PR
  • Unleash your verbal and written storytelling skills
  • Bridge the gap between good writing and effective storytelling
Allison Sitch
Vice President, Global Public Relations
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

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The PR News PR Measurement Conference will take place on May 15, a day after the PR Writing Boot Camp on May 14. Both events will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  When registering, you have the option to register for the PR News PR Writing Boot Camp only or add the PR Measurement Conference to your registration. 

Per Person Rate


Regular Rate
PR Writing Boot Camp Only
PR Writing Boot Camp & PR Measurement Conference

Group Rate


Regular Rate
PR Writing Boot Camp Only
PR Writing Boot Camp & PR Measurement Conference


Contact Saun Sayamongkhun at or 301-354-1694.
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Testimonials from Past PR News Conferences:

  • This was a great event. Not only were the speakers knowledgeable and engaging, but the attendees were awesome. And networking was great! --Communications Manager, CIGNA
  • My favorite speakers were Eliason, McCormick, Miller, Perkett and Roth. Great content; great presenters. – Media Relations Manager, ACT
  • I thought it was incredibly relevant to the audience. I walked away with several key ideas that I can’t wait to implement on my clients behalf. – Chief Public Affairs Officer, Clemson University
  • Great topics. Good variety. - President, Andrea Obston Marketing Communications
  • It was a fantastically event, and many of the strategies delivered today will inform our company’s social media policies moving forward. – Online News Producer, Education Week
  • Very good, well organized. – Director eRecruitment & Social Media, Sun Life Financial
  • Great conference, speakers and venue!! Loved the clean, candid approach of all speakers towards the challenging environment of social media. -External Relations, US Operations and Marketing North America, Procter & Gamble
  • I thought it was a wonderful event and I learned a great deal. It was an incredibly valuable seminar. -VP of Marketing, Retirement Living TV
  • I was also so impressed with the overall event. The quality of the presentations was top-notch, and the ability to network with like-minded people during the breaks and at lunch was invaluable. -Director, Global Media Relations, SAP AG
  • This was one of the best conferences I've ever attended. - Social Media Manager, Nautica
  • I learned more in one day than I've learned all year! -Director, New Media, American Heart Association
  • Fantastic keynote. The energy was perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up. Loved that PR is so well represented - rarely the case at other social media conferences. -Executive Director, PR & Communications, Jackson Spalding
  • Great information and speakers. -E-Marketing Specialist, Ruud Lighting, Inc.
  • Extremely helpful program and I learned a lot. -CEO, Alongi Media Solutions
  • Wonderful and insightful event in which I would like to have my entire team participate, including some clients. -Account Executive, Digital Brand Architects
  • Great event! I'm taking away valuable information and am excited to put the new knowledge to use! Well executed. Thanks! -Communications and Organizational Effectiveness Analyst, Hostess Brands, Inc.
  • Fantastic and inspiring! -Program Marketing Manager, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Very helpful ideas that I will be able to use right away. Thanks! -Staff Services Manager, CalPERS
  • Great speakers. -General Manager, KXLY Radio Group

Each registration comes with the materials provided by the speakers and a personalized certificate of completion for attending the PR Media Relations Conference. [Back to the Top]

Sponsorship Information:

Presented by PR News, this conference offers a limited number of sponsor and exhibitor opportunities to connect with these communications professionals. To find out how to become a sponsor, contact Diane Schwartz, SVP & Group Publisher, PR News at or 212-621-4964.

Sponsored by:

Bonuses For Attending

  • A list of AP Stylebook priorities
  • A list of 100 Troublesome Adjectives
  • News Release Guidelines
  • Notes on Ledes (a.k.a. Leads)
  • A list of Verbs to Replace Sacrosanct “Said”
  • Best Practices for Writing Success on the Job
  • Guidelines for Writing Publishable Quotes
  • Certificate of Completion

You'll Become an Expert In

  • Putting your intended audience or reader at the center of your written communications, instead of yourself
  • Writing killer press release headlines
  • Using basic SEO tactics to increase the searchability of your press release
  • Increasing the shareability of your press releases
  • Writing concise email subject lines
  • Confining your entire email pitch to one paragraph
  • Researching target keywords and implement them to gain better visibility and increase brand exposure on search engines
  • Optimizing press releases and headlines to generate media coverage
  • Crafting tweets that are likely to be retweeted
  • Spotting opportunities within your organization for brand storytelling
  • Telling your brand's story through social media
  • Bridging the gap between good writing and effective storytelling


Conference Location:



National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20045

Hotel Rooms:  PR News does not have a room block. You can see a list of local hotels, here

Dress Code: Business Casual

If you'd like to register by phone or have questions regarding the program, please contact, Saun Sayamongkhun at; 301-354-1694.

Who Should Attend

If you spend at least a quarter of your time in any of these areas, you should attend this Boot Camp:



  • Public Relations
  • Digital and Social Media
  • Community Relations
  • Corporate Communications
  • Word of Mouth Marketing
  • SEM/SEO Management
  • Publicity
  • Brand Marketing
  • Video Production
  • Marketing Communications
  • Employee Communications
  • PR Business Development
  • Human Resources
  • Public Affairs/Issues Management
  • Media Relations
  • Research
  • Analytics
  • Measurement

Letter to Attend

Justification Letter to Attend
The PR News PR Writing Boot Camp will help you discover and implement ideas that deliver results. It will train you to search for innovative solutions. It will provide opportunities to make valuable connections with other PR and communications professionals who have solutions you need. And, it will prepare you for the road ahead.You probably already recognize the value of attending this conference, and we’d like to offer some assistance to help you convince your supervisor and organization to approve the costs. Download the “Justification to Attend” letter—everything you need to present your business case. The template is simple to fill out and drop off with your supervisor for approval.
Download Editable Word Doc


Some proceeds from the Conference will go to One Laptop per Child's - whose mission is to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.