Chapter 14 in the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, discusses proper use of emails, memos and proposals. Public relations professionals spend a large portion of their day working and engaging in interpersonal communications. Since professionals have so much communicating to do they need to have good organization, efficiency and communication skills. Remember when writing that to save the reader time information should be concise and to the point.
The book lists basic guidelines for writers to follow in all areas of writing. The guidelines include: clarity, completeness, consciseness, correctness, courtesy and responsibility. I think consciseness is important to remember while discussing this chapter because it is all about brevity. Your objective is to be as brief as you can because less is better. Select words that will help convey the ideas in a concise manner.
The chapter goes on to discuss emails, memos, and proposals. Emails are extremely utilized today by all kinds of companies and organizations. Inboxes are filling up at astounding rates and so it is important to have your emails be short and to the point for readers. When writing emails it is important to know the purposes of it. Emails serve special advantages to PR professionals because they can send news releases and media advisories via email and distribute newsletters to employees. It also is effective at keeping up with events, arranging appointments, and editing documents. Email can do a lot of things but can not supplement face to face communications at all times. Good and bad news should be delivered face to face.
While writing emails it is important to know that content can be somewhat informal but that does not mean sloppy. They still need to include proper grammar. Another good thing the book pointed out was that emails have a lot less likelihood to get opened if they include an attachment. This is important for the PR professional to know because they should ensure their news release is in the body of the paragraph and not attached. The first paragraph and subject line should draw readers into the email. It is the most important part and should include the bottom line. It is advised to avoid using “I think” or “I believe” but you should utilize positive statements and keep a good tone.
Proposals are often seen as RFP or request for proposals. The purpose is to get something accomplished, persuade management to approve and authorize some important action that will have a long lasting effect on organization or its people. It should show & satisfy needs and show benefits.
Letters are also discussed and are seen as extremely important because most employers see applicants that write a written thank you letter for the interview as leaving a better impression. The written thank you letter can set you apart from other applicants and can land you the job if it is written effectively.
The most important part to me in the chapter was the section on emails. At my internship I am constantly emailing other company locations general managers and distributing PR materials to them. I send a numerous amount of emails a day and include flyers that should be utilized for the business, screen shots of stories we have landed in the media outlets, and just talk about upcoming events with them so everyone is on the same page at all the locations. While reading this chapter the no attachments included on emails stood out to me because my boss is always telling me if there is an attached image for the news release it is important to make that image size smaller since email inboxes are getting so clogged up lately. After reading more on it I can see why people would rather receive emails without attachments because it saves time for the readers. I am glad that I read this chapter and can utilize this information daily at my internship.