Using Words Well in PR

I had a great conversation with a good friend yesterday. We found ourselves discussing digital campaigns and the perception—or sometimes misperception—of “organic” earned media vs. paid media in an ever-changing, social media influencer-driving content world. We’re bombarded with content daily from brands, businesses, news, and even friends and family. How do we perceive that content and consume it responsibly?

Now, flip that thought. If you’re considering a career in public relations, you will most likely play a part in helping create content for others to consume. You may even find yourself in a role that shapes what audiences and communities think and talk about on a given day. What makes public relations content distinct from other types of content? How do we reach our audiences in an engaging, but also appropriate way?

These are just a few of the things our class will talk about this semester as we dive into learning the various types of content and standards within public relations, practice writing from a public relations perspective, and discuss the importance of ethics within PR strategies and tactics. And throughout the course, we’ll support one another to build each other up as better writers. My hope is that you’ll walk out of class at the end of the semester having grown in your writing abilities and with a clear understanding of PR writing practices.

So, as you prepare to engage in this course I want to leave you with this quote from poet and novelist Margaret Atwood, “A word after a word after a word is power.” Words have power. Words have value. Words can change lives. So how do we use our words well within public relations?

9 thoughts on “Using Words Well in PR

  1. This is a topic I question a lot. How do we use PR in a genuine, intentional, and successful way? You don’t need a lot of words, just the right ones. The right words can make a campaign, while the wrong ones can break a campaign.

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  2. As I am advancing in the PR world, I think it is important to personally practice creating content and engaging with the audience on every platform. It is very difficult to perceive and consume content responsibly. The words we use online have the ability to challenge opinions and/or bring destruction or unity. We need to be cautious of the ways we use our words to engage with others.

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  3. I loved that quote by Margaret Atwood because words are literally everything in the PR world. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the impact of words because of how many words I hear every day in my conversations, work, school, etc. This is a good reminder to remember its value as I begin to learn the many different styles of writing for PR.

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  4. It is so interesting to me that one word can be the difference between a good campaign and a bad one. As PR practitioners, we have to be so aware of the words we are using and the power they have. The words we choose are important, especially when representing a brand. A brand’s image or reputation can be destroyed in seconds if the wrong words are used or the message is not received well by audiences. We need to writing from a place of integrity and intentionality at all times in order to use our words well in PR.

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  5. Words are definitely powerful and can have an impact on the people around us and whoever they reach. In Public Relations, words can really be used to influence a large audience so it is important that a lot of thought is put into them. I think that words should be used to create a positive influence on society and should be intentional to who you are trying to reach.

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  6. I think the best way for public relations professionals to choose words wisely is to view them as if we are the consumer receiving the message. If we take a step back and remove ourselves from the campaign, and visualize being on the receiving end of it, I believe that can help to create organic and authentic campaigns for companies and brands that consumers will actually want to receive.

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  7. The topic of choosing your words wisely has been coming up in a lot of my classes. I found myself agreeing and nodding my head with a lot of what you were saying. Words have so much power to evoke different messages. Specifically PR writing has so much power to create a vision and connection with people. If words aren’t picked correctly they can make or break a potential connection.

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