In PR, everyone’s a copywriter. Now you know! Of course, not everyone has the word ‘copywriter’ in their job description but almost everything that happens in the average PR agency is founded on the written word.
We are, after all, in the business of messaging. We interpret messages on behalf of clients, craft them to suit specific target audiences, and package them for media to publish in whatever form they need. And by and large, we do all that using written text.
“So long as there are humans in need of information,” says the industry bible PR Daily, “writers will endure.”
All of which means that if you work – or would like to work – in Public Relations, your copywriting and content-creating skills need to be better than average. Here’s how to make that your PResolution for 2018.
Be confident enough to tell a story
People have an instinctive, insatiable appetite for stories, so it makes sense to write in a way that appeals to our deep-rooted desire to be entertained.
In the business world, storytelling is about using colourful, eye-catching language that stands out from the ordinary. It’s about avoiding the safe option – being passive, ‘hiding’ behind jargon – and injecting some real personality into your words. It means writing the way you speak – and that takes confidence.
Remember that less is more for your readers
What are you working on today? A blog post? A new business pitch? A delicate client email? Whatever it is, whoever’s going to be reading it probably has lots of other things they have to read as well. Bear that in mind before you write another word.
In a world swamped with information, sometimes it’s better to keep things short. Get to the point quickly, make it memorable, and then finish up. Look again at that blog post or email, is there anything you can trim? Your readers may thank you.
Don’t settle for draft 1, you can do better
This applies to pretty much everything you write. And, in the spirit of the previous point, we’ll keep it short. You can always improve on your first draft – so do.
Like everything else, practice will improve your writing
It’s always baffling to hear someone say they are “hopeless at writing”. It’s like they’ve been struck down with a mysterious, incurable disease.
When it comes to writing, or most other skills for that matter, there’s always hope. And the more you write, the better you’ll get. So, if you are one of those people who struggles with writing, make 2018 the year you improve your skillset. All you need is time, patience and practice.
Take every opportunity to let your writing shine
Following on from the last point, and harking back to the very first line of this blog, remember that in PR we are all copywriters, all the time.
Every little thing that you write should be as good as you can possibly make it, because the more you value your words, the more others will value them too. Make sure your copywriting skills are always switched on, and you will be one of those writers who endures.