Writing is a central component of a PR professional’s role and day-to-day tasks. We’re masters of communicating effectively through writing. We can adjust our tone and voice for specific authors and audiences and lead the reader to a desired conclusion or call to action. Strong writing skills provide a foundation for all aspects of public relations.

If you want to sharpen your writing skills, you’ll see improvement, in part, by reading more. Outlined below are four ways reading makes PR pros better writers.


No. 1: Reading exposes you to different writing styles. Reading various things such as investigative news articles, essays, novels, short stories, autobiographies and more allows you to focus on the mechanics, structure and stylistic choices that make various pieces work. Approaching varied works with an eye on the authors’ stylistic tendencies will help you find your own style. It will also help you elevate your writing style, drawing from other authors’ styles.


No. 2: Reading improves comprehension of a subject. One PR job requirement is to learn to speak many “languages.” We learn the our client’s terminology whether its about business management software, construction or voice-enabling technology. We immerse ourselves in the jargon and become fluent in common industry acronyms. The same is valid for working with media. PR pros who speak the language of a reporter, understand the deadline process, and know how to craft a compelling pitch are equipped to connect with media for meaningful results.

Reading can play an essential role in establishing and maintaining our industry language speaking skills. Reading industry trade publications or other materials goes a long way in improving our understanding of newer and more complex subjects. Over time, this ability sharpens so much that it is possible to read a variety of topics and comprehend the basic essences of the topics even quicker each time. At the same time, we hone our ability to write in these “languages.”


No. 3: Reading allows you to study grammar in context. Reading allows us to research grammar without having to thumb through a textbook. The best books and articles clearly communicate their messages, and to clearly communicate, you must have a working knowledge of grammar. Take note of how authors tackle grammar questions you are unsure about in your work. Study how they use punctuation and grammar conventions and inject these lessons into your own writing.


No. 4: Reading helps you expand your vocabulary. If your writing suffers from repetition or if you want to describe your thoughts more precisely but don’t know how the chances are that your vocabulary needs some improvement. A great solution is to read materials related to your subject and write down words that look interesting to you. If you want to understand the meaning of some new words better, look them up and write down their definition. Highlight or write down various turns of phrases that you find especially masterful and assimilate them into your own writing.

If you read often, you pick up skills you might not even notice. For example, you’re learning characterization, point of view, dialogue, sentence structure, grammar, idea organization, humor techniques and spelling. All these principles can improve PR writing.

So, what will you read next?

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