Getting it write: The importance of honing your written skills in PR

Mollie By Mollie

Successful PR is built on great storytelling and being able to deliver messages in a compelling and engaging way. This means written skills are a critical part of the PR arsenal.

Sometimes we’re writing a research press release or a highly technical whitepaper, and other times it’s a twenty-word social media post. But the same principles always apply. At Spark, we pride ourselves in producing content that cuts through the noise and we are continually developing our content skills across the team.

Refining the craft

To build on the great internal writing training that Spark provides, I recently attended a PRCA training course, ‘Honing your copywriting skills’. The session was a mix of discussions, exercises, techniques and feedback to equip me with the skills to write effective copy for almost anything.

Here are the top three things I learnt:

1. Writing for everyone is writing for no one

You start by ensuring your content is targeted and specific rather than generalist or vague. An audience doesn’t necessarily care about the ins and outs of a company’s heritage for instance, they are more concerned with what’s in it for them.

To create content that packs a punch, it’s vital that the substance links to broader trends within a target audience’s industry. Producing relevant copy that resonates with a persona, that aligns with the industry trends they see, and empathises with the pain points they experience, will make any message far more appealing and effective.

2. For a human, by human

Once you’ve nailed what to say, the focus shifts to how you say it. Ensuring copy is written in plain English is the first step in writing an engaging piece. All too often, content relies on hammering down on product and service features, resulting in a message too technical and dry for many readers. You always need to keep in mind that there’s a human at the other end – that’s who you need to connect with. By writing for that human at the end, your writing won’t get ‘lost’ in a sea of corporate or techy waffle, and will make them think, feel or do exactly what you want.

3. Don’t get it right, get it written

My final takeaway was that when it comes to the draft, there’s nothing better than just getting stuck in. After putting in so much effort preparing and planning, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to get it right the first time. I for one am a repeat offender of this!

Whether you like to ‘bash out’ your first draft, or prefer sticking to a writing framework, there’s no right or wrong way of getting started. The key is to write that first sentence. Write as much as you can without stopping and resist the urge to overthink – that’s what the editing process is for.

One scribble at a time

By fine tuning what you want to say and how you want to say it, you can create effective copy that stands out. So, clear your desk, pick up your pen (or keyboard) and get writing!

Click here to download our “The Difference Between Winning and Losing the B2B Content Battle” report