Musings of a PR Professional



PR writing and the Internet

The most recent chapter that I read for my current PR class was all about public relations writing for the Internet. The author, Thomas Bivins, took a look at many different things regarding public relations and the Internet in this chapter, everything from web design and formatting Intranet websites. When he specifically focused on writing, however, he had two main points that I think are very useful in their respective ways.

His first main point is, that when writing professionally on the Internet, one should avoid becoming too conversational. He advises to stick to the format and the styles of writing that are customary for the type of document you are creating and write it as though you were sending it out into the world in the conventional way. “A news release is still a news release. A feature is still a feature. Ad copy is still ad copy,” Bivins writes. I think this is great advice to give to PR professionals that deal with the Internet often and in more than one way. Since it is so simple to publish, edit, and update an infinite number of times on the Internet, I think it is very easy to view this medium of communication as much less professional. In my opinion, the simple fact that what you are writing is not on paper makes if feel as if the document is much less permanent, and therefore less important and professional. Also, I think it is much easier for PR professionals who blog as well as work professionally on the Internet to slip into “chatter” writing, as Bivins refers to it. I know that I am the kind of person that will need to make the conscious effort to keep in mind my purpose for writing and make sure that my blogging style does not bleed into mh professional style.

Bivins’ second main point, that he echos throughout the entire text book, is quite simple. He claims that good writing is good in it of itself. Flashy images or exotic layouts you encase your writing in will not improve a poorly written document. I think this is especially applicable to blogging.  Anyone can start a blog, say what they want to say and make it look pretty of professional with the right theme or site design. But, the most well-renowned and valid blogs that are out there on the Internet today are followed by so many for one reason: Their content. They write about relevant issues in an articulate way that exemplifies their unique and interesting perspectives. Through writing well then, well-renowned bloggers draw readers in and gain followers because they can shed new light on topics, they can provide readers with “Ah ha” moments that make reading their blogs worth while.

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