What Is Freelance Public Relations Writing

Becoming a​ successful freelance public relations writer requires you to​ write persuasively and analytically. the​ key to​ persuasive writing is​ the​ key to​ good writing in​ general: know your audience. Public relations work requires you to​ address various audiences,​ such as:

1) Your customer base. Your customers already have some idea about what your client does;

2) Potential customers. Most won't know about your client directly,​ but they might be familiar with similar products,​ services,​ or​ programs;

3) the​ press. They are interested only in​ whether the​ service or​ product your client has to​ offer is​ worthy of​ mention in​ their publication.

When you get a​ public relations assignment,​ your job is​ to​ take in​ all the​ data related to​ whatever your client has to​ offer. Maybe your client is​ offering a​ new product line,​ a​ new community outreach program,​ or​ news about a​ change in​ ownership. Your job is​ to: 1) analyze that data for key points; 2) determine how the​ data might affect the​ marketplace and consumers; and 3) communicate the​ data in​ a​ clear,​ concise form.

Taking in​ the​ data is​ the​ easiest part. Your client should provide you with all the​ data you need,​ plus any contact information you might need to​ interview people for quotes,​ statistics,​ point-of-views,​ etc. You need to​ think about how to​ connect what your client is​ offering with the​ needs and desires of​ his audience.

Example 1:
If a​ high-end brokerage firm wants to​ distribute a​ press release about their response to​ a​ recent rise in​ gold prices,​ you may need to​ research the​ stock market to​ determine what that means to​ investors. if​ you know your target audience,​ then you know exactly where to​ look to​ find out their typical concerns. Typical research methods may include Internet searches,​ investor forum posts,​ guides to​ investment,​ etc.

Example 2:
If you need to​ generate PR aimed at​ a​ particular trade group or​ a​ segment of​ an​ industry,​ such as​ promoting a​ local cleaning service,​ then you need to​ brainstorm ways in​ which your client’s cleaning service provides cheaper or​ better care than his competitors.

Once you've done the​ background work,​ writing PR is​ simple. Your client should provide you with all the​ pertinent information about length and venue. What you need to​ do is​ communicate the​ details,​ connect it​ to​ audience’s desires,​ and present any information that links the​ audience back to​ the​ client with the​ use of​ contact information,​ store locations,​ event dates,​ and so on.

Since there's an​ expectation that PR is​ persuasive,​ advertisement-like material,​ you have slightly more leeway with the​ writing than you might with informative,​ research-based material; but again,​ the​ audience comes into the​ balance.

If you're writing a​ report on​ the​ release of​ a​ new video game aimed at​ a​ teen-centric gaming magazine,​ a​ dry style won't be of​ much use to​ you. if​ you're writing about the​ breakthrough of​ a​ new control chip for an​ overseas microprocessor,​ you don't want to​ make too many assertions about how this will "revolutionize the​ industry,​" or​ anything that a​ highly-trained engineering department can't back up. in​ general,​ stick to​ the​ facts as​ closely as​ you can. Your articles should have the​ blend of​ rational restraint and promotional zeal so you communicate effectively.

Where do you get public relations jobs? Corporate PR departments are your best bet for well-paying,​ steady work. Some large corporations will have their own in-house staff of​ marketing writers,​ and may not be interested in​ taking on​ freelancers except at​ certain times. Another good choice would be local non-profit groups,​ political organizations,​ or​ social clubs. These rely on​ effective PR to​ grow and thrive,​ and you can pick up a​ good deal of​ work from just one or​ two groups. a​ drawback to​ non-profits or​ other groups is​ they may not have a​ big budget or​ they may not be able to​ pay consistently. Make sure you trust the​ group before you commit to​ full-time PR work.

Above all,​ be careful of​ doing PR for individuals. This type of​ PR can be among the​ most enjoyable assignments,​ depending on​ your interests. Individual PR projects may include promoting someone's self-published book or​ writing press releases for a​ garage band,​ and so forth. the​ downside is​ individuals typically have little or​ no budget for PR,​ and they often want you to​ work for free,​ alleging that "it'll be good for your reputation" or​ that "once I get successful I can pay you." Never do PR work (or any freelance writing work) for free. it​ wastes your time and it​ won't advance your career,​ except for building a​ portfolio of​ writing samples. at​ worst,​ it​ can lower average writing rates to​ the​ point that good freelancers go out of​ business. It's not good for you,​ for your trade,​ or​ for your fellow writers. So don't do it!

If you have the​ ability to​ analyze complex material quickly and convey it​ clearly and persuasively into words that your audience understands,​ then you are on​ your way to​ having a​ successful career as​ a​ public relations writer.

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