Written by Laura Aviles, Writing Director
PR professionals are groomed to be effective communicators. Perhaps our most valued skill set is writing. We have to be able use concise and creative words to persuade our audiences. Even though technology is constantly changing, writing is one form of communication that stays constant.
“Writing is an essential aspect of our industry, because it is the way we communicate with our key publics.”- Memorie Bailey
Many students do not realize how much writing goes into PR (I was one of those students). All the different rules that have to be memorized can be pretty intimidating. At first, it may seem like a turn off, but with plenty of practice, anyone can become an amazing writer and communicator. By the time PR students are ready to graduate, they have become masters of AP Style, inverted pyramid and press releases.
It is important to stress how essential AP Style is in PR writing. AP Style allows audiences to easily understand content. Below are some examples of AP Style rules courtesy of PR Daily:
- Farther, further: Farther refers to physical distance; further refers to an extension of time or degree.
- Numbers: Write out integers one through nine; use figures for 10 and higher. Spell out a number if it starts a sentence (unless it’s a year, such as 2014).
- Months and seasons: When using a month with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec., and spell out when using alone or with only the year. The seasons—winter, spring, summer, autumn/fall—are not capitalized.
- Dates and times: Write dates as June 4 and not June 4th and times as 9 a.m. rather than 9:00 AM. Always be careful with EDT vs. EST; simply using ET is a handy failsafe.
Nonprofit organizations, like Big Buddy Program, need to be mindful of how they communicate with their audience. According to Network for Good, nonprofits need to make sure that their writing is newsworthy. Nonprofits have to ensure that their writing is captivating enough to attract more people to the organization.
The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.
Laura Avilés is currently a senior at Louisiana State University majoring in public relations and minoring in business administration and art history. She is a native New Orleanian and a very proud Puerto Rican and Spaniard. She is a lover of all things art, soccer, travel, music and fashion. Her current life goal is to find a PR job in London.