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7 Essential Elements of Eective PR Writing


12/31/2014
ByAndrew Hindes (http://www.prnewsonline.com/author/ahindes/)

(http://cdn.prnewsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/writing.jpg)Good

grammar is like wearing nice clothes for a job interview. Sure, its important, and failing to do so can be a deal-breaker, but
just showing up in a suit and tie is not going to land you the job. Similarly, poor grammar can be a turn-o for journalists,
but merely demonstrating your ability to use a semicolon properly isnt going to generate press coverage for your company
or clients. While we can all agree on the value of weeding out typos and adhering to stylistic conventions, in todays crowded
media environment, simply avoiding grammatical mistakes isnt enough to make your PR content stand out.
In my work as a PR writing instructor, I strive to help clients writeeectivelynot just correctly. To increase the chances of
your press release or email pitch getting picked up, tell your story well, in language that is engaging and easy to understand.
Here are seven essential elements of good PR writing that will help make your press materials clearer, more concise and
more compelling to journalists and other readers:
1. Planning: Before you start writing, know your objectives, who your target audience is and what types of outlets youll
be pitching.
2. Storytelling: Its been said that good stories happen to those who can tell them. Honing your storytelling chops will
make whatever youre writingwhether its a corporate prole, a press release or a Facebook updatemore engaging.
3. Empathy: Put yourself in the readers shoes and focus on their interests and needs rather than yours or your clients.
4. Context: Help journalistsand their readersunderstand the broader signicance of your story and how it ts into
the larger context of your industry, your community or the world.
5. Flow: Good writing has a rhythm that carries the reader along like a catchy melody. Pay attention to the way you
transition between ideas, where you put your paragraph breaks and even the sounds of the individual words and
sentences.
6. Structure: The way you organize a storywhich ideas you present and in what ordercan have a major impact on
whether a reader hits delete halfway through the rst paragraph or reads it all the way till the end.
7. Accuracy: The best writing in the world wont matter if you get your facts wrong.
Andrew Hindes is president of Los Angeles-based PR and marketing copywriting rmThe In-House Writer
(http://www.theinhousewriter.com/)as well as a sought-after PR writing coach and corporate trainer. He'll be co-leading a clinic on
press release writing at PR News' Writing Workshop (http://www.googleconference2015.com/writing-workshop-agenda/) in San
Francisco on Feb. 10. He can be reached atandrew@theinhousewriter.com (mailto:andrew@theinhousewriter.com).
Follow Andrew Hindes: @inhousewriter (http://twitter.com/inhousewriter)

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