MorphPR promotes Connections for Life, realizes importance of excellent writing

By: Kelli Griffin

Throughout our time in the Manship School of Mass Communication, one lesson has been stressed over and over from day one: the importance of impeccable writing.

Image via: http://bit.ly/1AYI6fI
Image via: http://bit.ly/1AYI6fI

In public relations, the written word is at the core of everything we do. from memos and talking points, to news releases and media advisories and from video scripts and research reports, to tweets and Facebook posts, everything comes back to writing.

I have put together a few simple tips that can help anyone improve their PR writing skills.

  1. Make sure you always use AP style. Because so many of a public relations practitioner’s deliverables are sent to the media, it is important to write the same way as the media. This means you should use active voice whenever possible, should always use parallel construction and should never use the Oxford comma unless leaving it out would cause confusion.
  2. Inverted pyramid is your friend. When writing a news release, make sure you use the inverted pyramid style. This means that the most important information comes first, and the least important comes last. Newspapers have limited space and newscasts have limited time. Reporters and editors will just cut information off of the end of your news release to make it fit within their story parameters.
  3. Know your medium. The writing for social media will look much different than the writing for a sponsorship package. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and can be more casual, while an annual report should be more formal and professional.
  4. Know your audience. When doing work for clients, keep in mind that not only are you giving your work to them, your work will be passed on to their audience. Our client, Connections for Life, is a nonprofit in Baton Rouge that helps women who have recently been released from incarceration to transition into an independent life. Connections for Life also runs a thrift store. We have to find balance in our messages. What appeals to thrift store shoppers may not appeal to people who donate to nonprofits. Knowing who is likely to receive our messages will help us shape our stories to have the greatest impact.
  5. Edit, edit, edit! Always check over your work at least once, if not twice. Then have someone else look at it too. Careless errors detract from your message and make you seem less credible.

Writing skills are a key component of any PR practitioner’s toolbox. Taking the time to think through what you write will pay off in the long run, and remember, as with any other skill, practice makes perfect.

Image via: http://bit.ly/1Mn2cqx
Image via: http://bit.ly/1Mn2cqx

Kelli Griffin is the writing director for MorphPR and is a senior double majoring in public relations and accounting. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.

How to show expertise in your field: the MorphPR experts gain new insights from Connections for Life

By: Shaunda Johnson

Keep Calm I'm An Expert
Image via: http://bit.ly/1EUisQw

As graduating seniors, the MorphPR staff are well versed in the subject of public relations. We have spent numerous years cultivating our writing, thinking, research and deadline orientation/ organization skills both in and out of the classroom. We express our thoughts about goal setting and information evaluation through our writing. We conduct research to find answers to problems, while holding ourselves accountable for deadlines and remaining organized. MorphPR has the public relations expertise that Connections for Life needs. However, does MorphPR have the nonprofit expertise needed to create a one–year campaign for Connections for Life

Public relations professionals need to know more than just public relations; they need to know anything and everything about their client’s industry. According to the article “Business Plan: Analyzing Your Industry,” we had to start with an industry overview. We needed information about the organization’s industry, about the community the organization is a part of and about the organization itself. As we began to access our knowledge of Connections for Life’s industry, we began to evaluate the meaning of being an expert in that industry.

In 2010 ipwatchdog.com released an article titled “How to Show People You Are an Expert in Your Industry.” The article includes six steps on how to increase your credibility in your industry, with number one being specialize your brand. MorphPR commits to this rule through its mission of providing public relations service to non-profits; we never claim, “We can do it all.” However, we also make it a point to be experts in the non-profit sector that Connections for Life’s is in. In order to create effective messaging, we need to know what and whom we are talking to.

Once MorphPR establishes itself as Connections for Life experts, we can skip down to steps five and six on the article list. We have to get writing and get published. No one can tell you about Connections for Life better than the MorphPR team, because we are the experts. Writing and getting published are the best ways MorphPR can show our client’s industry that we know what we are talking about.

Image via: http://bit.ly/1CPtdS5

Being an expert according to “3 Ways to Become the Go-To Expert in Your Field,” means establishing yourself as an author. MorphPR plans to capitalize on that advice by telling the story of the women Connections for Life has helped and also explain the purpose of the organization’s thrift store.

At MorphPR we take our dedication to our client and becoming experts in their industry very seriously, which is why we dug deep to understand everything about Connections for Life. We look forward to combining our public relations expertise with our client’s industry expertise to create an effective one-year campaign that will take Connections for Life to the next level.

Shaunda Johnson is a senior mass communication major from Atlanta, Ga. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her.