This week, I had the pleasure of meeting the YES (Yankees Entertainment and Sports) Network’s Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships, Mr. Michael Wach. He offered some great practical tips for any young professional, but the overall theme of his message was know how to write, and write well. Mr. Wach claimed the written word is the most important part of business (both in PR itself and business as a whole), and if you can’t write well, you’re in the wrong field. Here are a few great writing tips he shared with me and later with my Introduction to Public Relations class…
– Record what you heard and saw in very simplistic language. Be straightforward.
– Get to the point quickly and in a timely manner.
– Writing is not about content; it’s about substance that is clear, concise, and logical.
– The old adage “the more you write, the better it sounds,” is false. Avoid redundancy and ‘filler’ language.
– The best writer is one that displays a steady flow of relevant and critical information.
We discussed how writing is a key form of communication; the smoothest talker or most creative fiction writer is not necessarily capable of communicating well through the written word. Every organization needs public relations practitioners with strong writing skills to coordinate communication with both the internal and external audiences. At YES, Mr. Wach spoke highly of his Corporate Director of Public Relations, who is a part of the management team and key decision maker at the organization.
The advent of the Internet simply increases the importance of being a clear communicator and a strong writer. The space on the Internet is limitless, and the explosion of broadband allows almost anyone anywhere in the U.S. to share their ideas and thoughts online. This new age requires trained practitioners to make sure their message is coordinated and clear before sending it out to the external audience. Once someone hits “send,” that message is instantly disseminated to millions worldwide. The Internet Revolution has also ushered in the age of transparency; there is very little information that can’t be found on the Internet. Organizations need PR practitioners to continually monitor the environment and present a coordinated message to their publics.
So, today’s lesson: write well. Brush up on those pesky grammar rules you had to memorize in fourth grade. Be clear, concise, and logical. Less is often more. Your success in today’s world depends on it.