Chapter 1: Getting Organized for Writing
The Public Relation’s writer and the journalist share several characteristics but the public relations writer differs in objectives, audiences, and channels.
Objectives: While a journalist is hired to gather, process, and synthesize information for the primary purpose of providing news to the organization’s subscribers, viewers and listeners. Public relations writers, in contrast, are employed by an organization that wants to communicate witha variety of audiences, either through news media or through other channels of communication. The writers purpose is advocacy, not objectivity. While also informing, they need to inform and motivate.
Audience: The traditional journalist writes for one audience while public relations writers write for numerous and radically different audiences including employees, community leaders, customers, teenagers, seniors, women, various ethnic and racial groups, travelers, governmental regulatory agencies, investors, farmers, and many more.
Channels: Journalists reach their audiences through one channel, the medium that publishes, broadcasts, or posts their work on websites. The public relations writer, with many specific audiences to reach, will probably use many channels.
Before beginning any writing assignment, take the time to ask these questions:
1. What is the desired communication outcome?
2. Who is our target audience?
3. What are our target audience’s needs concerns, and interests?
4. What is our message?
5. What communication channel is most effective?
6. Who is our most believable spokesperson?
TIPS FOR WRITING:
- Sentences should be clear and concise. Average sentence being 15 to 17 words.
- Short paragraphs are better than long ones. Averaging six to eight typeset lines.
- A short word -one with fewer syllables- is more easily understood than a longer one.
- Verbs vitalize your writing.
- Strong visual descriptions are better than generalized statements
All information in this post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition