Does PR writing stress you out?

Is crafting the perfect pitch or news release your reward for researching journalists and finding a great story? Or do you find the act of PR writing tedious and nerve-wracking?

Wherever you fall on that continuum, I’ve got some tips to simplify and improve your writing process.

First, come up with an outline that includes these three things:

  • The business purpose of the document – what your boss/client is most concerned with
  • Who the document needs to persuade to achieve that purpose
  • How you’re going to persuade them – news angle, main message, supporting facts

Not only will this help you write with more focus and clarity, it will save you time. If your usual process is to toil over your pitch/release/web content, then submit it for approval, then rewrite it based on your boss/clients feedback – you're doing it wrong.

Instead of submitting your finished document first, submit your outline for approval. When you already have their approval on your outline, there should be very little for them to change once you submit your final draft. And you avoid that unique pain of tweaking one sentence for 45 minutes until it’s perfect, only to have it deleted during review.

Second, learn to write shorter pitches, faster. Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Resist the urge to introduce yourself and your organization. Jump right to the good stuff and set the groundwork for a great relationship by focusing on them first, not you.
  • Omit proper nouns that don’t add value. Unless the scientist is a Nobelist, your journalist does not care who they are, only what they discovered. Stick to the news and save names for later in the pitch.
  • Cut your word count by dropping meaningless modifiers and descriptors like Actually, Virtually, Generally, and Nice, Interesting, Good.

Third, focus on writing more credibly and eliminating hype.

  • Instead of describing your company’s idea as revolutionary, use facts to explain what makes it likely to change your industry.
  • Replace jargon with words people outside of your company can understand.
  • Validate every claim you make. If you say your product runs faster, deliver the numbers to back that up.

Not only does a simplified writing process reduce your stress, it makes your final product more compelling, memorable, and persuasive.

Want more PR writing tips? Or wanna help your team up their writing game? Check out The Definitive Guide to PR Writing.

This article was originally published on November 9, 2022

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