Writing is an essential skill in the public relations field. Increase your professionalism by avoiding these common spelling and grammar mistakes.

There are two periods in Washington, D.C.

Washington DC and Washington D.C are incorrect.

The Capitol vs. the capitol

Capitol Hill and The Capitol refer to the actual building. Do not capitalize the nation’s capitol when referring to the city.


There is definitely no “a” in this word.

Weather vs. whether

Weather refers to the conditions outside (rain, sunshine, hurricanes, etc.). Whether is an expression of doubt or choice between two alternatives.

A lot

Alot is not a word; include the space between “a” and “lot.”


Don’t be too embarrassed if you forget the double “r” and “double “s.” It’s a common mistake.

Principal vs. principle

Principal is the authority figure for a school. Principles are the rule they make.


Mispell is incorrect. Be sure not to misspell this word.


"Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal." -renowned American philanthropist Elbert Hubbard.

Goal setting in PR is essential for meeting deadlines, findinf solutions for clients, and growing professionally. People often fall into the trap of setting vague goals that keep getting pushed off.

To achieve your goals in a timely manner you must set S.M.A.R.T goals. They must be:

S – specific (What do you actually want to accomplish?)

M – measurable (How do you know you’ve reached your goal?)

A – achievable (Is it realistically possible to achieve your goal?)

R – relevant (Why do you want to pursue this goal?)

T - time-based (When will you complete this goal by?)

If your goal is to “create tweets for a campaign,” it’s easy to procrastinate. A S.M.A.R.T goal would look like this:

I want to create 500 tweets for a client’s breast cancer awareness campaign by next Friday. I plan on writing 50 tweets a day during each workday this week and next week.

S.M.A.R.T goals don’t have to be professional goals. Making “get in shape” into a S.M.A.R.T goal would look like this:

I want to lose 10 pounds for bikini season, so I am going to go to the gym three times a week after work for a month.


Did you know the process of visualization has been linked to actual successes? Henry Ford was right, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”

Vision boards are a great exercise for practicing visualization. “A vision board can help you create the overall big vision for your business and connect with what it is you want to manifest,” says Jennifer Lee, author of The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success.

Most vision boards are done by hand. If art isn’t really your thing, that’s OK! You don’t need to break out the glue and scissors or get in touch with you inner kindergartener to create a vision board. Websites like http://www.dreamitalive.com and https://www.pinterest.com are great places to put all your ideas in one place and start getting creative without the mess.

Before you get ahead of yourself, take some time to think about what you want to achieve? Do you want to broaden your client list, or land a specific client? Do you want to solve a problem? Do you want to jazz up your client’s campaign platform? Pick one specific outcome you want to be a reality and dive in.

Don’t be too literal. It’s a creativity and brainstorming exercise, not a detailed plan. If you see an image or a word that resonates with you, go with your gut and save it. Don’t worry if the images or words don’t relate directly to your business, client, or idea.

Don’t just include pictures of goals and outcomes. Think about how you’re going to get there: the who, the how, and the why. If you need more inspiration:

Read how this PR exec landed big name clients with her vision boards. http://ow.ly/KZPA7


Public relations often requires note taking. Note taking can be tricky because you want to keep your notes simple, but also have as much important information as possible. You can quickly get caught in the trap of trying to write down every word and fall behind. Check out these tips to become a better note taker.

First and foremost, be prepared. You can’t take notes without note taking materials. If you need to commit concepts to your memory, use a pen and paper. A study at Princeton University shows that note takers retain information better when they take notes by hand instead of using a laptop. If you need to write down exactly what someone is saying, use a laptop. Most people can type faster than they can write, so using a laptop allows you to write notes word-for-word. However, you’ll need to go over your notes a few more times to commit them to memory if you use the word-for-word method.

Use a method that works for you. Your notes are for you. Write them in a way you’ll understand. I prefer bullets, but you can make webs, draw pictures, or use symbols. It doesn’t matter if your notes look like hieroglyphs, as long as you know what they mean. Learn about the mind mapping technique here http://www.mindmapping.com

Keep your notes short. Stick to abbreviated keywords that matter. Cut out words you don’t need, and use symbols like + for and or w/ for with. Shorten longer words and phrases like Declaration of Independence to Dec. Ind. or DoI. Also, write down your notes in your own words. When you write down notes in your own words, you’re forced to think about the content you’re writing about.

Leave wide margins. If you write linear notes, make sure you leave space on the left or right side to add information to previous notes.  Overcrowded notes can quickly become illegible or confusing.