Chapter 15 and 16

14 Sep

Reading chapters 15 and 16 made me feel like i was in a writing class; however, it was a writing class that I think I would like.  The book used words like short, and phrases such as, “the simpler the better” (pg. 305). That sounds like my kind of writing.

One of the important points that the book includes are the fundamentals of writing. One, you should think before you write (pg. 305). Think about whom the piece is for and how to engage the reader to concern them and make them interested. Two, there should always be a rough draft. If there is a draft, there is a way to make it better. Three is to simplify and clarify. If people understand you, they will read more of what you are saying (pg. 305). The fourth fundamental of writing is to make sure that the writing is aimed at a specific audience (pg. 305).

Another important aspect is the Flesch Readability Formula. This says that “people who write the way they talk will be able to write better” (pg. 306). He likes the usage of contractions, pronouns – like I, and we – clear sentences, and clear language (pg. 306). Be clear, brief, concise, and most importantly, correct.

The news release is a very important topic covered in chapter 15. There are essential pieces to a news release that makes it newsworthy. If it doesn’t meet these criteria, it shouldn’t be in the news. The news release should have rationale, which includes having an impact on people, being timely, having proximity, having a known principal, oddity, being out of the ordinary, be of conflict, and have a human interest factor. The second essential criterion is to focus on one subject. Third, is to have the facts including the 4 W’s. Fourth, is to be nourishing. Fifth is to have a boilerplate at the bottom. The sixth essential is to be short and sweet. Seven is to have a headline, or title. Making sure there are no grammatical errors is number eight, while the ninth is to not use jargon and puffery. Last is to have a media contact somewhere (pg. 309).

In chapter 16, the difference between writing for the ear or the eye is crucial in public relations. Writing for the eye has “ranked among the strongest areas for public relations professionals”. Writing for reading “emphasizes the written word” (pg. 324).  Writing for the ear –speech writing – is “to write as if you were speaking. Use simple, short sentences, active verbs, and one – and two syllable words. In brief, be brief” (pg. 325).

Another example of how these two different types of writing differ is the medium that is used. Writing for the eye can be communicated through many different mediums including news articles online through media kits, pitch letters, and by-liners, or through face book, twitter etc. (pg. 332), and writing for the ear is communicated through speeches.


All of the reading notes in my blog are taken from the eleventh edition of The Practice of Public Relations, by Fraser P. Seitel.


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