A captive title, a great lead, a short and sweet article, and an impressionable message — all expectations for writing in PR.
I thought I had joined the PR program at Loyalist College with a bit of an advantage. I had just completed my Honours B.A. with a Major in Communications. As public relations is a subcategory of communications, I felt I already had acquired many of the skills needed for a PR professional. Although this was true, I learned that the academic writing style that I had been trained to automatically revert to throughout my four years at University was not appropriate at most times to succeed in the industry of PR.
Learning a new writing style has proven to be quite difficult. After having proper format, correct citations, and a rigid style of writing drilled into my head throughout my entire academic career, writing for an audience other than a professor with clear expectations left me with an opportunity to decide my own style of writing. The 20 page research papers are no longer a requirement, but instead, all important information about an upcoming event needs to be produced on a single page.
Over the past school year I have learned that this style of writing can be quite fun. It is liberating to be able to write what you really feel, instead of tirelessly quoting peer-reviewed articles that coincide with a point you need to prove. On the other hand, it is also quite difficult to pack so much information into such a short space. PR is about writing to quickly catch the eye of a passerby, an internet browser, or a prospective client. PR professionals must write with flare, but also appeal to a general public. The two demands must come together in harmony along with the captive title, the great lead, the short and sweet article, and the impressionable message in order to obtain the status of success in the PR industry.