Everybody who works in communication knows that writing is one of the most important skills you need to know how to do really well. Especially in public relations, your writing skills need to be proficient in order to get the message out in a transparent, yet interesting way. Allow me to give you five tips that should help improve your writing skills.
1. Get a thesaurus.
A thesaurus is a great tool to help you articulate your choice of words in your writing. Using the right words can make or break a piece; however, just because it’s a helpful tool, it doesn’t mean that it has to be used all the time. Be careful about when you choose to use it, and for what word you want to replace.
2. Read more often.
There are many great authors out there. Instead of reading something straight-forward, try expanding your choice of book genre. The sentence structures are different, the word choice is different, everything is different from what you usually may read on a regular basis. Expanding your reading base will help you become a better writer and storyteller.
3. Imitate writers.
Going back to reading more often, it’s good to want to look at how a professional writer actually writes something. Observe a writer’s methods on how they write something, and study it to see what works well and what doesn’t. Don’t make the mistake of copying everything they write verbatim, but instead use their writing methods as a template for your own writing. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so don’t be afraid to try!
4. Edit constantly.
No writer is perfect on the first try. There’s always something to edit when you’re writing. Maybe a paragraph doesn’t need to be in a certain spot or maybe there’s a better choice of words. Editing isn’t an easy skill to learn, but if you keep at it constantly, the results will follow.
5. Take your time.
Writing is something that takes time; it doesn’t come naturally to most people. However, in PR there are deadlines that need to be made. As PR practitioners, we need to find the balance of taking the time to make something the best that it can be, while also writing to deadline. It may be difficult at first to find the balance, but it’ll come to you eventually the more you write.
Adam McKnight is a junior public relations major. He is a general body member of Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America, as well as an account specialist for Red Brick Communications, a student-run communications firm. An avid tennis player, he hopes to one day pursue a career related with the sport he loves.