In my previous post, I raised the issue of blog and blogger credibility. So, you decide if you feel I’m qualified to post public relations tips here.
I have more than 20 years of professional experience in the media and public relations. Before ‘switching sides’ for good, I worked in radio for 18 years, and I was a regional reporter for The Buffalo News. Prior to joining RIT in 1999, I was a public relations specialist with Monroe Community Hospital in Rochester.
I’ve been at RIT for six-and-a-half years—the last two as associate director of University News Services. In addition to covering specific “beats,” I also produce Dateline: RIT and, as deputy managing editor of News & Events, I’m intimately involved in the biweekly production of RIT’s “official” newspaper (with my trusted colleague, managing editor Vienna Carvalho-McGrain). In addition to other responsibilities, I read every comma, period, dotted ‘i’ and crossed ‘t’ in each issue (and I serve as the unofficial AP style guru). On the side, I cover radio for my column, “On the Radio,” in Business Strategies Magazine, and last fall I taught an RIT undergraduate course in Public Relations Writing. And I’ve somehow managed to find time for graduate studies (final course just completed—4.0 GPA intact :~) Next up: my master’s thesis.
If you’re satisfied, continue reading for more on what to expect from my PR tips.
Every couple weeks or so, I’ll post a new tip. I’ll usually write shorter, I promise. But because I love to write, you will never, ever read a first draft here (unlike on many blogs). Now I’m keenly aware that to many bloggers, blogging means: simple thoughts (or, oftentimes, simplistic ones—and there is a subtle difference, by the way). But simple (or simplistic) thoughts are often akin to the aforementioned “streams of consciousness.” Or brain dump. Some may say that’s “writing.” It’s not.
For that reason I don’t feel it’s at all odd that I have not heretofore embraced blogging. You see, I’m a writer. Like many writers, I love words and writing more so than do most bloggers. In fact, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember (including, from around the age of 10, writing—and recording into a portable cassette recorder—radio “newscasts”). And I have passion for writing and for reading good writing (which, regrettably, is lacking on many blogs).
These qualities of a good writer—passion for both reading and writing—will sound familiar to my PR Writing students because they are among the many attributes of a good writer stressed in my class. So, consider this PR tip #2:
The more you write, the better a writer you will become.
The more you read good writing, the better a writer you will become.
My students also learned “the writing process”: Think — Write — Edit — Rewrite. (Note that no place in the writing process do you find: “Post first draft of the first thoughts that enter your mind.”)
Of today’s instantaneous communications, Bob Schieffer, host of “Face the Nation” on CBS, recently asked, “Is our new ability to communicate with almost everyone and to do it instantly causing us to lose our ability to reflect, to think before we speak?”
That’s a fair question. My response (and promise to you for this space): I’ll strive always to offer high-quality, thoughtful, reflective writing, composed with passion. It’s my hope you will consider my words worthwhile. But, either way, they’re worth the price you paid to read them.
Next time: More about the first rule of public relations: Know your target audience.