13 rules to sharpen your PR writing

An astonishing amount of communications copy is verbose, badly proofread, carelessly edited. Read below to remind yourself of tenets most often violated by PR pros.

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When a PR pro writes, it usually is a marketing activity—and that writing must be sharp, clear and focused.

PR writing is as varied as marketing content: press releases, brochures, letters, blogging, website content and video-script writing. In small businesses, the PR manager and the content marketer are the same person.

Here are 13 rules to follow to hone your writing skills and final product:

1. Journalism’s story foundation still applies.

If you’ve studied print journalism, you understand the inverted pyramid. The most important content goes first and details follow.

This is true today; people are still in a hurry.

Grab the reader’s attention first with the most important stuff, written in a compelling way. Focus on value to the reader, not to you, in the beginning.

2. Focus on the “5 W’s.”

You must answer the 5 W’s, especially in a press release. To make your piece more compelling, start with “why” instead of “what.” This will stimulate more interest.

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