Write Tight or Say Good Night!

From PRofessional Solutions LLC’s February newsletter:

Kate PerrinAs a journalism major at American University, PRofessional Solutions’ CEO Kate Perrin learned to “write tight”. You might assume that the age of Twitter posts has encouraged brevity. It hasn’t.

“Whether pitching their cause or writing about themselves, a lot of PR people are very ‘wordy’,” Perrin reports. They use too many adjectives, descriptive phrases and lengthy sentences.

One tool she learned in a writing workshop was helpful with her own staff in the non-profitNickels world. “I told everyone that when I reviewed copy I would charge a nickel for each word I could remove without changing the meaning of a sentence. Although I didn’t collect, I wrote the sum I could have made on the edited paper.”

The best kind of writing starts with a strong lead, and in application cover letters good writing can be hard to find. So Perrin was excited when one cover letter began, “The most important thing to know about me is that I am a succinct writer.” Wonderful! However, the writer went on for two full pages.

“I have to assume she didn’t actually know what the word ‘succinct’ meant!” says Perrin.

About Melanie Jordan

Melanie Jordan is Managing Director of PRofessional Solutions, LLC, a public relations temporary staffing firm located in Washington, DC.
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