Why Writing Skills Are Vital To A PR Role

Due to my recent change in my career aspirations, I have spoken to various PR professionals about the difficulty of a transition from Journalism to Public Relations, (read my blog post about it here.) Every single one of them mentioned the transition being simple due to one vital skill both industries have in common: writing. Why is this?

1. Press Releases

The staple task of most PR professionals,  they are short, factual news stories written in the third person and given to the media to encourage editors/journalists/broadcasters to feature the story in their publications and programmes. A press release is not very forgiving when it comes to grammar/spelling errors and it must be clear and concise. If you can’t write clearly, put the story into context and write a newsworthy headline, your press release will get little to no attention.

2. Communication

PR is all. About. Communication. As well as verbal, written communication is vital. Whether it’s in an email to a client or a blog post, you must communicate your message clearly. You can’t expect something to gain publicity if your audience is unsure about what you’re trying to tell them.

3. Social Media

Social Media is a vital platform to many industries today, and PR is no different. With social media, when writing you should be asking questions, maybe use extra punctuation, avoid abstract titles and tell people what to expect.

4. Writing Styles

You should know how to adapt your writing style for different platforms. Brands can be a large part of PR, let’s say the brand you’re representing has a very specific personality, it is important to adapt your writing style to fit theirs. The way you email should be different to how you do a press release and so on.

Also, if like me, you have got into the habit of writing academic essays, practise writing in a more concise style, make your writing sound as if you’re talking to someone. Practise this by writing blog posts for example.

Writing styles also come in styles that can vary on different platforms: expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive.

5. Persuasion

Many will argue, the most important writing style in PR is persuasion. Often your role will be to persuade: persuade journalists to write an article about your artist or product, persuade a radio to give your band some air time, persuade clients you are the right person to work with. Most of this is achieved through effective writing techniques.

 

 

 

 

Top Tips For Picking A University Degree

If you read my last blog post ‘A Change Of Heart : From Journalism to Public Relations’ you will know that I am about four months away from graduating with a Music Journalism Degree. I will admit I did rush into choosing my degree and although I don’t regret my decision, I do wish I had followed some of these steps:

1.Do your research

Looking at the University website’s course details isn’t enough. You should look into the industry you’re interested in working in too. For example if you’re interested in doing  a Public Relations course, visit PR Week, read books, visit prospects.co.uk to look at job roles, skills and challenges. This will help you to decide if you’re the right person for this industry.

2. Speak to people who are in that industry/ on the course you’re interested in

Getting advice from people who have been through it helps massively, some universities (like mine, Southampton Solent) do phone-ins where you can talk to students currently on the course you’re interested in. They can give you a real-life walk through of how the course will be, which should help to decide if it’s for you.

3. If you want to do a degree in Advertising, look into all the Communications degrees, and so on…

All degrees fall under certain job sectors, in communications we have Marketing, Journalism, PR, Advertising etc. You may have thought you wanted to do Advertising but after looking into other communications courses, you found yourself more suited to Marketing. This the same for all university courses, you may want to study nursing, then after a further look into the Healthcare sector, find yourself more suited to a Paramedic Science degree.

4. If your dream degree sounds really difficult, don’t let it put you off

University isn’t meant to be easy, it is supposed to be a big jump from college or school, the whole point of university is to challenge yourself and to learn, I say go for it.

5. Don’t let grade requirements put you off applying for a certain course either

If the course you’re interested in is asking for a number of UCAS points that you think you’ll struggle to achieve, don’t let that scare you. At the end of the day universities want students, in fact they need them. It has been known that many students get into their top choice university without reaching the exact UCAS requirements, sometimes universities are interested in more than just points.