Writing is a skill that you must possess and constantly work at if you want to be a successful PR communicator. But good writing does not happen naturally. There are some key ideas that can guide your writing and make your PR communications fresh and exciting.
At PR News’ recent Writing Boot Camp at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Jonathan Rick, communications expert and president of the Jonathan Rick Group, shared some rules to follow to become a better PR communicator.
- Break up noun clusters. A string of nouns together in a title or sentence impairs readability.
- Make every verb count. The right choice of verbs gives your sentences power and direction.
- Embrace analogies. Analogies can sometimes better illustrate a concept than a straight explanation.
- Humanize big numbers. Saying the federal budget is $4 trillion a year doesn’t carry as much weight as saying that the federal government spends more in one second than two average American families spend in a year.
- Surprise your readers. Great writing shakes up expectations to add emotion or emphasize a point.
- Write the way you speak. Difficult concepts are best understood in everyday prose.
- Favor contractions. They make your writing flow better and make it more accessible.
- Avoid walls of text. Break up big blocks of text into smaller paragraphs, lists or tables to increase readability.
Follow Jonathan Rick: @JonathanRickGrp
Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell