As an account executive of PRowl Public Relations, Temple University’s only student-run public relations firm, the most common question I get is, “how do I improve my writing?” Now, I don’t claim to be an expert writer, but I have been writing in a journalistic and public relations styles for over five years so I’ve encountered a lot of good and bad writing. Here are a few of the best tips I can offer to beginners looking to improve their writing:
- Think about your audience. This is arguable the most important piece of advice I can give you. Who are you writing to? What are their attitudes, values, beliefs, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds? Your audience will affect the tone of voice and the words you use in your copy.
- Aim for the goal. Just like in soccer. Are you a journalist telling a story or are you a public relations professional communicating a message? Are you relating your writing back to the business goals of your company? Your goal is crucial to the finished product, don’t neglect it!
- Follow the inverted pyramid. Remember what the inverted pyramid is? Think back to your first PR or journalism class. Inverted pyramid style is putting the most important, newsworthy information first to draw your reader into your writing.
- Learn AP Style. This is essential for both public relations and journalistic writing. You need to know the proper way to write. If you don’t, your editors and audience won’t take you seriously.
- Good writing is re-writing. Your first draft should never be your last. Always review and rewrite your copy several times. Your finished product should be perfect in your eyes before you let it leave your hands.
Do you have any other essential tips for budding writers? Let us know in thecomment section.