Introduction

I’m a writer. Might seem simple, but putting words on a page sent me on a free trip to Europe, earned a scholarship that kept me out from underneath crushing student loans and paid my bills for a fair number of years. Now I’m an educator and a writer, and when I post notecards around the classroom and ask college communication majors to stick their names next to a category, only a few kindred souls seek out the wall with “Writer.” I get a lot of “Strategic Thinker” and “Digital Content Creator,” and even some “Techy” and “Advertiser” notecards because the world of public relations and communications now includes many things and requires a variety of skillsets. I respect the diversity of interests, but I see a lack of appreciation for writing as a core job skill for nearly all of the jobs in the public relations field. Nine of every 10 of the professionals who visit my classrooms, speak to my students or serve as mentors to the students I work with have the same answer to the question “What is the number one skill students need to be competitive professionally?” Writing. And this comes from professionals who work in social media, event planning, marketing, graphic design and many other areas where it may not seem as obvious that writing would be key. This book starts with a refresher on strong writing and the cornerstones of communications and moves through how to write strategic and strong content for the core platforms used in public relations. Recognizing that images and video often pair with the written word to send strong messages, the book also covers on a broad level the creation of video and visual messaging.

A great way to learn is by surrounding yourself with people who have more experience or knowledge than you do. You can watch, listen and then try and re-try as you build your own experiences and skillsets. This book asks professionals who create messages in various ways for different platforms to share the fundamentals of message creation as well as some nuggets of wisdom from their professional journeys. They give real world commentary and examples to show HOW to apply the instruction presented and WHY it matters in a professional setting.

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Introduction by Mary Sterenberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.