What's Your Style?
This blog post comes from our intern Rachael S.
A friend once told me that style is the stroke in a painting – it’s the undeniable flair that is necessary to any masterpiece. The same goes for PR, from brainstorms to revisions, the writing process is crucial in this industry. But more often than not, a key piece of the process goes unnoticed… style.
What is style? According to The Norton Field to Writing, style is defined as the arrangement of sentences, phrases, words and punctuation to achieve a desired effect. In the PR industry, your writing style can be a game-changer – especially when dealing with the media. Whether you’re pitching a product or drafting a press release, using the proper writing style can help you grab a reporter’s attention.
The perfect style can take years to master. Even as a writing major, I face my own battles in developing my style. Here are three tips that I’ve personally used to help improve my style, as recommended by Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace.
Be clear and concise –Sentences without subjects aren’t sentences. Match characters with subjects and actions with verbs. Some people like to write long drawn-out messages, but to quickly gain a reporter’s attention, use fewer words.
Shape sentences – In addition to being clear and concise, shape your messages into coherent passages. Readers read most easily when you get them to the subject of your main clause quickly. Similarly, reporters receive hundreds of emails a day, so make your pitch stick – avoid long introductory phrases and reduce the number of clauses in your message.
Balance elegance – Once you’ve perfected all the above, elegance comes next. Sometimes writing too simply can come across as dull. The key to elegance is writing with a balanced sentence structure. Vary your sentence length and coordinate them with conjunctions to emphasize your point.