While completing my first internship here at Tricom, my fellow interns and I had the pleasure of attending a writing workshop with an extremely talented and successful copy-editor. Above everything else, the workshop confirmed for me that academic writing is significantly different from professional writing.

The writing style that is taught in schools is extremely different from the style that it is expected of writers in the professional world. Whether we care to admit it students tend to write lengthy, exaggerated and overly descriptive pieces in an attempt to meet a page or word requirement, or to sound excessively poetic.

I’m quickly learning that fluff doesn’t fly in the professional world. In professional public relations writing, the goal is often to make a concise and understandable point. While more descriptive writing is not always unacceptable in all professional settings, more often than not, short, sweet and to the point is the way to go.


Succinct writing is actually a lot harder than it sounds. Here are some tips that I’ve used to help make the writing transition:


1) Decide what you want to write before you start writing.


2) Avoid complex phrasing.


3) Stick to one idea per paragraph.


4) Eliminate helping verbs. Focus on conveying your message with active verbs.


5) Eliminate the use of “that.” “That” is a fluff word.


6) Be descriptive, but don’t go overboard. Overuse of adjectives constitutes fluff, too.


Surprisingly, the transition is not that easy to make. In school, you become accustomed to a certain writing style and it can be difficult to break the bad habits. Try to catch yourself in the act of “fluffing your work,” and eventually you’ll be able to develop a new and improved style of writing. For more information about professional writing, visit: http://hbr.org/web/management-tip/tips-on-writing

   

Clients are interested in events that relate to their purpose and it is typically the job of public relations professionals to stay up to date on such events. Sometimes you will be required to attend these events or watch online and simultaneously tweet and/or post on Facebook as the event is taking place. This is referred to as “live” tweeting or Facebooking.

This can be exciting or intimidating depending on how swift your fingers are or the quality of your hearing abilities. Live tweeting will help separate the good typers from the scary-good typers. Don’t be surprised if you find that your typing abilities are not as advanced as you might have thought. Here are some tips for mastering the art of live tweeting/Facebooking.

1) Be sure to have a list of all speakers. Knowing who is speaking and when they are speaking beforehand will help you to prepare and anticipate the topics that are going to be discussed.

2) Look up the speakers beforehand. Before the event, you should try to find twitter/Facebook accounts for all of the speakers so that you can include them in your posts. It is important to give credit to the speakers for whatever brilliant or not-so-brilliant things they may say.


3) If you can, eliminate background noise. If you happen to be covering an event from the office, do your best to be in a quiet space. This will help you to focus and tune into what exactly is being said.


4) Find the main idea. It is important to retain the main idea for each speaker and not just random blurbs that you happen to catch. Focus in on the point that they are attempting to drive home and post that.

   

While intuition and instinct will always remain desirable characteristics in any communications career, preliminary research is becoming a standard and quite necessary public relations procedure. Before investing money, business owners will want more than a vague promise of outcomes. PR professionals can deliver that certainty IF research is conducted first.

In order to secure a client’s trust, PR specialists need to provide management with statistical research that indicates a communications window of opportunity. That will give you confidence in your strategy and allow you to win the confidence of your potential client as well.

There are three main types of public relations research: strategic research, theoretical research and secondary research.

Strategic research: This type of research is primarily used to help you design your communications program. It answers simple who, what, when, why, and how questions. Who is the client? Who is the audience? What is the client’s desired outcome? When do they want that outcome achieved? Why is this outcome important to the client? How can we achieve this outcome? Strategic research is expended to develop program objectives and message strategies through measurement of current statistics or attitudes in a particular market.

Theoretical Research: This type of research is used to determine why people communicate, how and why public opinion is formed, and how an audience is created. This kind of research is used to dig deeper into the complexities of the audience. It is more abstract than other forms of PR research because it has to do with why people think or react to certain stimulus in a particular way.

Secondary Research: This research, also called “desk research,” involves learning from someone else’s primary research. When given a project, there will always be information online about a given topic or cause. PR professionals need to gather as much outside information as possible in order to be prepared to jump into a communications project.

Taking the time to utilize these researching methods will make all of the difference in the end. Research will help you produce real results and real results attract more clients!


   

Here at Tricom, we write every minute of every day. We’re constantly creating more content for blogs, social media accounts and other projects. According to StudyMode.com, though, 65% of people are visual learners, which means they learn through visual content like graphics, images, videos or audio.

Videos have long established themselves as powerful visual tools. They combine the emotive strength of photos with the power of the narrative to inspire, influence or motivate the viewer.

The video below was produced by GetUp! Action for Australia, an independent movement to build a progressive Australia and bring participation back into our democracy. They advocate for social justice, economic fairness and environmental sustainability. The video specifically promote gay rights and the message that “love is love.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBd-UCwVAY

PR agencies can create their own videos that advocate for their clients and their clients’ issues, or they can promote videos that have already been produced. If your client is a union, you could create an information video describing the importance of unions and the impact they have had on the political landscape. If your client is an environmental protection agency, you could create a video that demonstrates the changes they have made in the local or national community to preserve or improve the environment.

Video content has a huge potential to influence viewers’ values, beliefs and behaviors – which is the ultimate goal of public relations.

   

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