Skip the fluff, write good stuff

I feel that I learned a lot from the readings regarding Principles of Effective Writing. After reading through the text I soon realized that several things I thought was helping my writing was hurting it instead. The top 5 things I took away from this except were:

  1. Use short and simple words. Using bigger words won’t always benefit my writing. I just need to get my point across.
  2. Lead paragraphs contain answers. This is a great way to engage your reader. The better the question the more they will read.
  3. Don’t elaborate. In other words don’t “fluff” when you’re writing.
  4. One paragraph, one idea. When writing I have so many ideas I want to add and tend to lump them all together in one paragraph. This tip is simple and  quite helpful.
  5. Use the pyramid power. The pyramid is a simple rule to follow (especially since I am a visual learner.) Begin with lead paragraphs, continue with the body paragraphs and then end with concluding paragraphs.

Hit the books!

The textbook Principles of Effective Writing has provided several insightful writing tips/strategies. There are 5 things that particularly stood out to me from the readings on pgs. 135-137:

  1. Be brief. This is an editing decision we don’t always like to make, but sometimes less is more. If you want to be recognized as a credible blogger, you need to be able to make a point. Short and sweet is always a good policy.
  2. Pyramid Power:
  3. Be specific. Don’t communicate in generalities, but be as concrete as possible.
  4. Use bulleted lists. This is a layout/design decision. Its easier to read key points if they are laid out in front of you.
  5. Use one main idea per paragraph. Although this may seem simple, i often forget how easy it is to ramble. As bloggers, we must figure out how to communicate effectively to our readers. They’re not going to read the whole blog if you make it one long confusing paragraph. Spice it up and make your writing appealing to the eye.

TWEET: Tweeting has helped me to choose my words wisely and create a lasting impression with my 140 characters of life.

Proofreading. (for bloggers)

“Proofreading is vitally important, hard to do well, and tedious as hell.” ~Brian Clark

The blog post by Shane Author revealed several blogging tips that i found particularly useful for our weekly posts.

#6- Write… Run away… then read.

This tip explains how helpful it is to find common errors if you just take a break from your blog and come back to it. Its good just to clear your mind from all the text before jumping into “skim proofing”. This has been a very helpful hint during all my “post writing” sessions.

#11 – Keep a list of words you misspell.

This tip has helped immensely because I am honestly one of the worst spellers out there!  It’s been useful to recognize those words i commonly misspell and learn how to spell them correctly. There are bundles of new words permanently mushed into my brain. 🙂

and lastly,

#10- Avoid the passive voice.

Our class has stressed the importance of this tip on a number of days. It is essential for bloggers to maintain authority, therefore we must write with authority!

What I’ve learned from 18 weeks of PR

A. The most useful thing i’ve learned in Principles of PR is how to communicate effectively. Through all of the social media out there, its easy to get swept away. This class has shown me what it takes to have a voice; whether that be through writing, blogging, design, or tweeting. Its been great to have hands-on experience to maneuver through all the logistics and gain a well rounded understanding of social media and its impact in the world of PR.

B. The most challenging aspect of PR has been grasping the concept of research. Although this simply means to KNOW your client inside & out, there are many layers that create companies, brands, etc. Research is such an essential part of any PR relationship; you must know the company like you worked for them. This seems intimidating and somewhat daunting. It is a challenging aspect indeed but one i know i will grow accustomed to after some quality practice and experience in the field.

C. What i think will help me succeed in these last two weeks of PR is my diligence in preparation for the final. I must understand the material, not simply have it memorized. All of the material we have been tested on are key principles of PR and i know that i must retain all of this information for future job opportunities.

Relationships are meant to be healthy

Personal relationships, networking and media relations are all connected together, and all of them are very important in PR. First, you want to build a personal relationship with someone, so that they will trust you; trust is a key ingredient in successful PR. Also, by building a personal relationship with a person it allows you to network and get to know other people through them. Networking is probably one of the most important aspects of PR. Finally, media relations is all about making and developing relationships, and ultimately networking. As a PR practitioner, you want to have a strong relationship with the media, so that way when you need something to get in the newspaper you already have a bond with them. All three of these aspects work hand in hand together, and you need them all when practicing PR.

A community is a big player to the businesses surrounding it…

Corporate social responsibility is all about what a company is doing to help the surrounding community. Philanthropy events are an example of something a company could do to show their community they are actively involved and care about them. An example we discussed in class was biking to work, which leads to getting in shape and high attendance at work, and ultimately ends in lower insurance prices. Businesses have a responsibility to their community, and there are a variety of things they can do to satisfy their responsibility.

Social media=research made easy!

PR professionals take full advantage of social media to conduct research on their clients. PR people can set up Google alerts, use Twitter fall, and start Facebook groups in order to keep tabs on what people say about their clients. Research is an important tool in PR; you need to know everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly, that is being said about you company. One reason to do research is to monitor customer satisfaction, and if there is dissatisfaction you can find out why and fix the problem before it escalates into a crisis. There are many ways to keep up with your company’s image through social media, which means there is no excuse not to be on top of everything that is being said about your client.