Tools to Make You a Better PR Writer

Being a better writer takes time and practice. It’s elementary to do your very best to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as industry jargon, in press releases, email media pitches and other content.

But to increase the chances of your press release or email pitch getting picked up, it’s vital to tell your client’s story well, and with language that’s both engaging and easy to understand.

Below, we outline some essential tools that can help you improve your PR writing and make your media materials clear, concise and compelling to journalists and other readers.

Read News
The best PR writers are usually the ones who love to read and write. By immersing yourself in the written word, you can quickly improve the way you write. 

Whether you prefer books, magazines, newspapers or online articles, any type of reading is a great way to study different writing styles and enhance your overall writing skills.

Study AP Style
The journalists you pitch write in AP Style – and so should you. In addition to duct-taping your Stylebook to your hip and keeping a spare in the trunk of your car, you can brush up on your AP Style by following @APStylebook on Twitter for daily tips.

Common AP Style mistakes for PR professionals avoid include:

  • Capitalizing job titles
  • Using acronyms before spelling them out
  • Double-spacing after a sentence
  • Using numbers 1-9 incorrectly

Explore New Tools
If you’re stuck in a writing rut, you may find checking out new resources to improve your writing helpful. Examples include:

  • Hemingway App, which encourages you to put down the thesaurus and write in plain English. The tool helps you simplify lengthy, complex sentences and eliminate common errors. It even grades readability and gives you hints on alternative words and phrases to improve your sentences.
  • Quickly improve your writing and communication skills by using Cliché Finder to identify and eliminate words, expressions and phrases that are trite, stale and frankly overused. After you copy/paste your writing, the cliche checker uses a unique algorithm and overused phrases dictionary to find results.
  • Grammarly is a free writing app and browser extension that can make your emails, documents and posts clear, mistake-free and effective. The app can give you corrections on Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, Word and many other sites.
  • Headline Analyzer can put you on the same level as journalists by scoring your overall headline quality and rating its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic and SEO value. This tool is key for blog post titles, byline headlines and other PR content that lives online.
  • Make every word count with Wordcounter, a free online editor that counts your texts’ words and characters, checks keyword density, corrects writing mistakes and estimates reading and speaking time.
  • Read your writing aloud or use a text-to-speech tool to catch mistakes and clean up lengthy or repetitive sentences. Many computers have built-in text-to-speech tools readily available under accessibility settings.

The last tip to help better your PR writing is an obvious one that’s often forgotten: practice. No matter how much editing feedback you get, repetition and writing a variety of PR materials is the best and most efficient way to improve your copy.

Already an all-star PR writer? We’re always accepting applications for consideration. Click here to inquire about open positions and submit your materials.

How to Use Twitter to Achieve Overall PR Goals, Part 1

This is Part 1 in a three-part series.

Twitter is a mixed bag. Some days it’s a political minefield, other days you spend half an hour trying to figure out why “30-50 feral hogs” is trending. Googling “Why Twitter is” will result in autofill options of “Why Twitter is good,” “Why Twitter is bad,” and “Why Twitter is important.” Everyone you ask will have an opinion along this spectrum, and I’m no exception. I’ve been on Twitter since 2008, and after a decade+ of its platform updates and my own life changes, I’m still a loyal contributor to the social media site, both for personal and professional use.

Whether you’re a Twitter devotee or you can’t remember how many characters are allowed in a tweet, having a presence on Twitter is worth it for all PR pros. Here’s how to develop your Twitter for your personal PR goals:

Make connections.
No matter how you use Twitter, the platform sees its roughly 321 million active users per month gravitate to certain areas of interest. Whether that’s memes, breaking news, or TV show finales, there’s place for everyone on Twitter. That’s equally true of PR and journalism.

Almost every reporter or editor I’ve worked with over the past few years has a Twitter account. While email addresses or LinkedIn profiles can be hard to find, a journalist’s Twitter profile is almost always linked in their author bio. If you’re looking for insights on what a journalist’s interests or beats are, always check out their Twitter – they’re not usually shy of sharing their work!

This is even more valuable when it comes to local journalists. I follow several IndyStar reporters I’ve worked with before and whose stories I like and have had interesting and informative conversations with them right there on Twitter. Even if I’m not pitching them for anything, I love seeing what local journalists are talking about, what’s important to the community, and what’s making headlines.

Brag about yourself.
#HumbleBrag is a hashtag for a reason. Don’t be afraid to show off the awesome work you’re doing – and the awesome coverage you’re receiving – for your clients or company overall. If you spent several weeks coordinating an interview for a client, share the link and spread the word!

If you have a Twitter account you use for both personal and professional reasons, you may want to add some context to sharing client coverage. If you usually tweet about superhero movies, a tweet about healthcare facilities management may feel out of place. A quote retweet tagging your client and your company, though, provides plenty of details as to why you’re talking about this subject.

Get inspired.
Somewhere in the 500 million tweets sent every day, you’re bound to find something inspiring. Most news channels have Twitter presences, and just about every author, comedian and actor does, too. What are news channels in your client’s HQ city tweeting about? What news is capturing the attention of a large audience? What client keywords are seeing a lot of activity as hashtags?

PR pros have many tools at their disposal to build press lists and measure media coverage impact, but few tools are as effective as good ol’ research. Twitter lets you get in-the-moment insights into what’s important to different audiences and thought leaders just by being present and following a few key individuals or organizations. Keep an eye on clients’ competitors, journalists you’ve worked with before, and the general news across the city, state and country. You never know where your next newsjacking or byline opportunity might come from.

Is Twitter for everyone? Maybe not. However, it should be a place all PR pros can go to make connections, tout their work, and get inspired for new story angles. As long as news breaks on Twitter, PR pros should be there to keep up.

Interested in how Twitter can play a role in your public relations strategy? Contact Lauryn Gray to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation.

Summer Heat Brings in Wave of New Clients for Dittoe PR

Kids may be heading back to school, but summer continues to heat up here at Dittoe PR, as we recently added six new clients to our roster!

Indy tech companies Pattern89 and Vennli, retailers Redux and Sky Footwear, as well as a local arts fair and a national skydiving initiative have each selected Dittoe PR to serve as their PR partner.

As our client roster continues to grow, so does our team. In July, our amazing intern, Sydney Plichta, joined our team full-time as an account coordinator. Sydney recently graduated from Michigan State with a Bachelors in communication and a minor in PR. Some of her favorite aspects of the job include media relations and social media. When she’s not pitching, you can find Sydney binging documentaries, staying active outdoors and taking in all the local attractions Indy has to offer. 

Read on to learn a bit more about our awesome new clients and how our team will lead PR efforts for each organization. 

Pattern89
Pattern89 is an Indianapolis-based tech startup and a High Alpha portfolio company. The company’s SaaS platform provides powerful artificial intelligence-driven marketing technology to help brands discover the ad elements that drive the most impactful digital ad performance. By identifying successful patterns in companies’ ad data on Facebook, Instagram and Google ads and analyzing the results to hone future campaigns, Pattern89 keeps brands’ digital advertising up-to-date and maximized for performance. 

Dittoe PR will work to build brand awareness for Pattern89 amongst key audiences through national and trade media relations. We will also help to position Pattern89 and its leadership team as experts in AI marketing by identifying and securing thought leadership opportunities such as bylines, speaking opportunities and award wins. 

Vennli
Vennli is a SaaS company based out of South Bend, Indiana. The company recently released a new content intelligence platform that makes intelligent content recommendations for personas across every stage of the buyer’s journey. With Vennli’s strategic guidance, marketers are empowered to build content plans that are anchored to specific objectives and linked to the right customer data. 

Our team will manage media relations and thought leadership campaigns for Vennli.  

Redux
Redux’s patented drying process helps individuals who have dropped electronics into water recover the devices the exact same day. For the past few years, Redux has focused its patented technology for saving phones and tablets. Now, the company is expanding its product line to greatly extend the lifespan of hearing instruments, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Using a patented vacuum drying process that reduces the evaporating point of water, Redux removes moisture quickly, completely and at a safe temperature for each device. 

We are currently developing and executing a media relations campaign for Redux’s new product and care program for hearing instruments. 

Sky Footwear
Sky Footwear was founded by then college student Keaton Hendricks at Taylor University in 2010. While spending a summer volunteering at a local homeless shelter in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, Keaton’s eyes were opened to the heart-breaking situation that many of his local neighbors lived in. He also noticed the shelter had an extremely limited supply of basic clothing, like socks. So, he started Sky Footwear, an e-commerce sock company that, for every pair of socks sold, donates a pair of socks to a homeless shelter. The Dittoe PR team is hard at work developing and executing a PR strategy for Sky Footwear to help them attract new customers, increase sales, and ultimately be able to provide local homeless shelters with more necessary clothing items.

Project19
In summer 2020, the Women’s Skydiving Network will celebrate the Women’s Suffrage Movement by attempting a Women’s Vertical World Record 100-way skydive on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. 

We will work with Project 19 to raise awareness of the sport of skydiving and the challenges, athleticism and excitement surrounding the sport, with the ultimate goal of getting more women interested and involved. 

In addition to the world record attempt (which will be held next summer at Skydive Chicago), Project 19 is planning several demonstration dives across the country. Dittoe PR will work to secure local, trade and national media coverage surrounding these events and the amazing women behind Project 19. 

Penrod Arts Fair
We are thrilled to partner with the Penrod Society to promote the 53rd Annual Penrod Arts Fair. Since its inception, the Penrod Arts Fair has grown to become one of the largest single-day arts fairs in the country. This year’s event takes place Saturday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Newfields. Our team will be managing media relations for Penrod Arts Fair, helping to raise local awareness for the event and the Penrod Society. 

Thinking it might be time for your organization to find the right PR partner? Contact me at lauryn@dittoepr.com!