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.
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.