Public Relations Writing

Public Relations Writing

Public Relations Writing

Public Relations Writing


Breadth and balance in content are the primary attributes of this practical guide designed to equip undergraduate students for the broad range of writing tasks involved in contemporary public relations practice. A myriad of writing tasks are examined, those undertaken for print and electronic media as well as those that arise in the business component.


Public relations writing is no easy task, especially in the contemporary environment. What traditionally has been called "public relations writing" embraces a typology of styles ranging from carnival publicity to presidential speeches. Each has a place, although a narrowing place, in public relations practice.

The narrowing process, for writing styles and writing in general, results from changes in the needs of those who hire public relations practitioners and consultants. Organizations today find themselves dealing with progressively more knowledgeable and more skeptical audiences. Unlike those of earlier generations, these audiences tend to respond positively only to equity and fairness; to truth and candor. They quickly grow suspicious of the platitudes and glowing generalities that once were common fare in public relations.

These conditions require communication of a different sort than once prevailed in public relations. Communicators today are held accountable for more than the messages they create and transmit. They are responsible, instead, for creating measurable behavioral change among message recipients. Skillful writing remains necessary but is not sufficient for success under these conditions. Writers must be more skillful and knowledgeable than ever before. They must be conversant with the organizations they serve, with the environments in which those organizations function, and with the stakeholders with which those organizations deal. Only then are they prepared to synthesize and transmit messages that will be heeded, assimilated, and acted upon.

The latter steps are critical to success. Public relations writers no longer can afford to ignore the fact that the communication processes are controlled . . .

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