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How to write in PR: 12 top tips

15th June 2016

Being a great writer, in any field, takes practice. This is as true in PR as it is in writing a novel. Angela Casey, managing director of PR agency Pagoda Porter Novelli, says that even though she was told early on in her career that she “could not write and would never write” she now enjoys writing because she has dedicated time to it. She explains: “I believe the key to good writing is a combination of persistence and practice. Taking every opportunity to write copy will help you in the long run, whether it is blogs, tweets, emails or press releases – practice is the best way to learn. The other tip I would give is to read other people’s writing and learn from it. Look at what makes a piece of writing brilliant and try to copy it.”

More good advice from Casey is to prepare: “Good planning is crucial for any piece of writing. It is rare to sit down without thought and then just bash out a piece of brilliant copy – it just doesn’t work that way. Thinking ahead about what the reader needs to know, what you want to say and how you will make a big impact, are all essential during the first stage of planning your writing. Your copy simply won’t work if you don’t do this.”

Casey concludes: “Half a day spent reading good writing followed by half a day of practice is way better value than a day’s writing course.”

Assuming you have gained writing skills drawn from practice, and you have a basic plan for what you want to write, we have put together a PR-writing checklist. So before you file your next brilliant piece of copy, make sure you can answer ‘Yes’ to all of the following questions…

12 questions to ask before you write

From Peter Meikle, head of news at PR firm FleishmanHillard Fishburn:

From Sally Maier-Yip, managing director of marketing agency 11K Consulting:

From Matt Watson, programme director at PR agency Hotwire:

From Simon Turton, owner of agency Opera PR:

From Adam Leigh, strategy director at agency W communications:

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