When it comes to public relations, it’s all about the message. Effective writing is what will keep the readers intrigued in learning about what you have to say. If the writing is difficult to understand or poorly written, they have no reason to continue. So, how can you captivate an audience with your words?
It may sound difficult to discover the perfect balance between too simple to read and too difficult. A bunch of short, choppy sentences is a no-no, but so are long, wordy sentences that take maximum effort to understand. Unless you’re writing a research paper, your audience likely will not want to read lengthy paragraphs that keeps repeating itself over and over, but they don’t want to read something that hardly reveals any significant information either. Luckily there is a happy medium that all PR writers should strive for! Here are some tips:
When it comes to sentence structure, diversity is good. However, the piece should consist of short sentences with the occasional lengthy sentences. This format makes the writing more appealing to the reader. If it was composed of solely short sentences, although it would be an easy read, it would be less informative and not flow as well. Too many long sentences are bound to bore the reader. This is why mixing them up is effective.
Now, word choice. Be careful not to sound pretentious by turning a simple message into a SAT Vocabulary test. Keep the sentences short and sweet with understandable words. If a word is not commonly known and you want to use it, make sure to define it first. When it comes to PR, the writer needs to focus on verbiage that is easy to understand rather than sound like a spelling bee winner. No one will think reading is worth it if they have to look up every single word.
Another important tip is to avoid redundancy. Saying the same thing over and over is annoying and doesn’t resonate well with any audience. Nothing causes a snooze-fest more than hearing the same nuanced message. Once you have made your point, you can draw off of it, but make sure to keep things interesting with new, valuable information.
However, make sure to dive deeper too. Introducing a topic with little to no following information is confusing and bad writing. Your message should convey all of the necessary information to the reader (what the message is, why they should listen, what they can do next). Keeping the message as understandable and straightforward as possible, while also releasing an appropriate amount of information, will make your piece proper.
There are so many things you can do to make your writing more readable. Every little thing counts. Employ these tips to make your writing more readable, and notice the difference!