While lousy grammar may be off-putting, proper grammar won't necessarily generate you more coverage. You need to make your PR campaigns compelling and captivating, while simultaneously being compact and easy to read.
Here are eight elements of good PR writing that will ensure a clear, concise and compelling press releases or emails:
Before you even begin writing, you need to make sure that you know your objectives. Every successful piece of PR writing will be guided by specific goals, that will help you strive towards the right goals.
Every company and individual has different definitions of what 'success' means to them. For this reason, when you're planning and setting your goals, you should avoid making comparisons.
Of course, doing your homework and researching is also imperative. If you don't have all the information that you need, it will be challenging to write an excellent PR piece.
2. Define your target audience
Once you've made objectives and have researched, it's essential to define your audience and try to understand who they are. Think clearly about what your target audience wants, and who it is that you want to influence.
Your target audience will depend on various different factors. For example, you will have to consider their location, behavior, age and gender. Hypothetically, a PR campaign for middle-aged men in South Africa will be very different from a PR campaign targeted at young women in South Africa.
Once you've defined your target audience, you will be able to deliver a much more effective and targeted message that will be both compelling and relevant to your target demographic.
In order to write a great piece of writing, you have to put yourself in the reader's shoes. Show an empathetic and understanding nature and you'll find that your writing is much more appealing.
Without this level of empathy, your press release or email can feel very disconnected and almost sales-pitchy.
How does your story fit into a larger picture? When a journalist gains your pitch, they need to be able to find a way that it fits into the broader context — whether this is society, the industry or even the world. There will always be some kind of broader significance.
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to really grab a reader's attention. Regardless of if you're writing social media posts, an email or an article, storytelling trumps all.
Humans are inherently very emotional, which is arguably why storytelling is so compelling. When you tell a story, it allows the reader to digest it easily and connects their emotions to the information.
In fact, storytelling can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts alone. Stray away from just listing facts and statistics, a good story will engage your audience better, and stick in their mind for much longer.
Every piece of good writing has some kind of rhythm that gently carries the reader along.
"Pay close attention to how you transition from one idea to another, where you start another paragraph and even on individual words and sentences. It might take a few drafts and many editing sessions, but you'll get there in the end." — Neightan White, Is Accurate and Supreme Dissertations.
Make sure that you're telling the truth throughout
. Even the best writing in the world can't get facts wrong. This ties in with planning and research but it also highlights the importance of fact-checking and editing.
The way you structure your story can have a dramatic impact on the reader. Carefully decide what ideas you'll place at the beginning, middle and end. This could be the difference between a journalist reading all the way until the end, and one that deletes your email after the first paragraph. Don't neglect headlines and subheadings in your PR writing, too.
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