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Introduction to public relations writing. JMC Dept. Abilene Christian University. What do you most want to learn from this class?. What do you most want to learn from this class?. About the course blog and textbook Web site. In the beginning … let’s look at Chapter 1.

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Introduction to public relations writing

JMC Dept.

Abilene Christian University


What do you most want to learn from this class?


What do you most want to learn from this class?


About the course blog and textbook Web site


In the beginning …let’s look at Chapter 1


What’s distinctive about PR writing?


What is PR writing?

  • PR writing isn’t advertising:- PR writing’s purpose is communication or persuasion, not sales- PR writing is factual- PR writing isn’t hyped


What is PR writing?

  • Advertising “hype” to avoid:

    “New and improved”“First ever”“First annual”“Revolutionary”“Amazing new product … ”“Buy your tickets now … ”


What is PR writing?

  • PR writing isn’t journalism:- PR writing is not neutral or objective - PR writing is persuasive- PR writing is advocacy writing


What is PR writing?

Dennis Wilcox (author/professor):

“The goal is not only to accurately inform, but also to persuade and motivate.”


What is PR writing?

Harold Burson

(Founder/chairman, Burson-Marsteller):

“We are advocates . . . We are advocates of a particular point of view -- our client’s or our employer’s point of view. And while we recognize that serving the public interest best serves our client’s interest, we are not journalists. That’s not our job.”


What is PR writing?

  • PR writing isn’t fiction writing

    - PR writing is fact-based (non-fiction)- PR writing is typically brief, to the point (novelists need not apply), tightly written- PR writing is “good writing in a hurry”


PR writing is targeted

  • Employees

  • The community

  • Customers

  • Prospects

  • Stockholders

  • Investment community (analysts)

  • Is the news media an audience?


Chapter 1 highlights

  • What is meant by “uncontrolled” information?

  • What are some examples of uncontrolled information?

  • Why do PR people use “uncontrolled” media?


Chapter 1 highlights

  • What are some examples of “controlled” information in PR?

  • Where do corporate blogs fit in this list?


Chapter 1 highlights

  • What are the common types of PR writing tools listed in the chapter?

  • What is left off this list?(Hint: Some newer tools have become popular since this book was published)


Case study

Let’s look at the variety of public relations writing assignments from one of the most famous Texas-based companies, AT&T. How many of the types of PR writing identified in Chapter 1 are found on this company’s Web site?Public relations writers must be versatile, and able to alter their writing style depending upon the audience and situation.


Careers in PR writing

  • Most PR jobs involve some writing

  • Governments, large corporations, universities hire writing specialists

  • Freelance opportunities exist for experienced writers, editors


Skills needed for careers in PR writing

  • Appreciation for language, words

  • Broad knowledge of the business and industry and current events

  • Ability to work under deadlines

  • Good multi-tasking and project management skills


Skills needed for careers in PR writing (cont.)

  • Research skills

  • Interpersonal and team skills

  • Write across many channels


For the next class

  • Read Chapter 2

  • Expect exercise in class using the proofreading symbols in the AP Stylebook

  • Read the Bivens Primer on Style and answer the questions in the post on the course Web site.

  • Set up RSS feeds, e-mail alerts for your company and complete the “company reports” exercise.

  • Browse through your assigned organization’s Web site and become familiar with who they are and where their examples of PR writing are stored.


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