October 24, 2011
Getting Back to the Basics
Effective written communication is essential to the PR field. However, people and times have changed; thus, the ways we go about reaching our audiences are not only different, they’re constantly changing as well.
Brian Solis, principal of FutureWorks and co-author of “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” describes the evolution of writing in public relations as reflecting the ability to connect a story to the people who could benefit from it. He writes, “We shift from the inward writing process where executives and clients are our audience to writing for the very people we’re hoping to reach — in the language, style and spirit that resonates with them.”
Brian Solis is highly regarded in the world of PR for his innovative ideas and creations, and his writing tactics are just as impressive. His advice to reach our audience in a way that resonates with them is brilliantly simple, yet it’s an invaluable tactic that really defines the new model of PR.
The new model of PR suggests that rather than PR professionals using traditional media to reach consumers, consumers are now using any means necessary to reach out to PR professionals first. Again, times are changing, and as PR practitioners it’s our job to stay informed, to stay ahead, and to satisfy our publics in a quick and honest manner.
Barb Sawyers, author of “Write Like You Talk – Only Better”, also promotes and encourages the use of conversational language. In addition to reiterating the importance of eliminating jargon and producing written work that your readers will enjoy and understand, Sawyers offers a tip that has not yet been mentioned but that is easy and wholly effective.
What is this amazing tip, you ask? Well, we want to write as we speak, so Sawyers suggests reading your writing aloud. Listen to what it sounds like when it’s spoken, and if it flows conversationally out loud, then it will flow conversationally on paper (or, you know, on whichever social media platform you post it on).
So, to sum up the tips, tactics and great advice offered today, keep in mind the essentials – write in a way that captures the attention of whom you’re writing for, and read it aloud to make sure it flows conversationally. So what does this all equate to? Well, I guess it all ties back to the title of my blog – “Reaching Your Audience with Conversational Language.”