Why PR professionals need to have solid writing skills

DSM Digital School of Marketing - PR professionals

Public relations (PR) professionals at all levels in industry are required to have solid writing skills. This is because PR professionals are responsible for putting together communication materials which are intended to influence the attitudes and/or behaviours of key members or groups in the public.

Many employers need candidates for public relations positions to finish a writing test as well as provide a writing sample in order to demonstrate expertise in this skill. This means that it is critical to comprehend how to craft effective messaging through written communication.

A professional communicator

As professional communicators, it is required of PR people to develop content, that is accurate as well as compelling, on behalf of companies in addition to organisations. In fact, the ability to be a good writer perhaps the most important skill needed to be a great PR professional. Yes, being able to pitch media and cultivating online relationships in this social media world are also key components to success in PR. However, without good writing skills neither of these tasks can be successfully accomplished.

Here are a few of the many materials and messages that PR professionals have to write:

  • Press/News releases
  • Fact sheets
  • Feature articles
  • Social media messages
  • Blog posts
  • Speeches
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Brochures
  • Media pitches
  • Statements
  • Website messages

The difference between paid advertising and PR

Advertising is paid media while public relations is earned media.This means you have to persuade reporters or editors to put together a positive story around:

  • You or your customer,
  • Your candidate, brand or – alternatively – issue.

PR appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website as opposed to the “paid media” section in which advertising messages appear. This means that your story has more credibility as it was independently verified by a trusted third party rather than being purchased.

PR has, and is continuing to, involved the timely placement of advice-driven articles as well as  the release of relevant data or research findings, not to mention pinpointing broadcast opportunities for clients.

However, online developments have apparently turned offline PR upside down.

Despite the obvious benefits of adopting digital PR, the altering nature of public relations appears to be causing uncertainty throughout the digital marketing world:

  • Online PR puts the impetus in the hands of the consumer. This approach is maybe what PRs find the most difficult to grapple with. The reason why even those businesses, who realise the search engine optimisation (SEO) benefit of online PR, find it challenging to get their PR teams to understand their efforts.

However, rather than avoiding these two approaches altogether, it is necessary to embrace the different strengths as well as weakness of online and offline PR in the format of truly integrated marketing campaigns. After all, by making use of both channels, brands have the chance to hugely widen their reach.

The advantages of adopting a holistic PR strategy

There are a lot of advantages to espousing an all-encompassing PR strategy. These include publicity across the entire media spectrum (print, TV, radio, the internet). Getting online PR in the mix offers a vital avenue to reach potential customers in addition to key influencers.

By combining online with offline PR, news generated by an organisation’s press office can be swiftly spread through peer-to-peer networks, such as Facebook and other social media channels which is a result is that traditional editorial-focused PR is hard-pressed to achieve on its own.

Controlled and uncontrolled media in a public relations environment

Public relation practitioners send out their messages through controlled as well as uncontrolled media:

  • Controlled media is the kind which can be created as well as controlled by the firm. Examples of these are advertisement, speeches, paid programmes in addition to employee newsletters.
  • Uncontrolled media is the kind which cannot be controlled by the firm. Example are television, radio as well as newspapers.

The pros and cons of controlled and uncontrolled media

Controlled and uncontrolled media both have their advantages as well as disadvantages.

The advantages of controlled media consist of:

  • The ability to program the channel subjectively by choosing the exact words as well as images that are sent and also by controlling when as well as how often the message is repeated.
  • Disadvantages of controlled media include a lack of credibility in addition to the cost. When listening to an advertisement or, alternatively, a promotional speech, people know that you’re controlling the message which means that they may not be convinced easily owing to a lack of credibility.

Uncontrolled media have fewer challenges with credibility as well as costs:

  • Uncontrolled media send their message to a large scope of individuals. The receivers know that the message is not dictated by the subject.
  • Making use of uncontrolled media is far less expensive but the firm may still need to provide news releases or meet with reporters on a frequent basis.
  • News media can offer a third party or independent endorsement of a news story.
  • The disadvantage of uncontrolled media is that they are not controllable. Digital public relations practitioners may be able to influence the media but cannot directly control the words or the images used.

Controlled and uncontrolled media each have their advantages and disadvantages. A combination of the two is generally utilised in digital public relations campaigns. Controlled media provides precise messages that would lead to reaching company’s objectives. Uncontrolled media offers stronger credibility and is less expensive.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

If you want to discover more about the exciting world of digital PR and how it can benefit your business, you need to do a digital PR course such as the one that we offer. Read more by following this link.

DSM Digital School of Marketing -Public Relations