10.19.2016

By Lauren Edwards

Doing the very thing you don’t want to do often turns out well. Have you noticed that, too?

My own reluctant flip-flop is responsible for the free resources I’m about to share with all of you, dear fellow members of the Silicon Valley PRSA.

Here’s the advice I took: “If you find yourself answering the same question again, write a blog post about it and share the link.”

A former reporter for the Associated Press and a journalist/editor for 10 years, I wanted nothing to do with blogging when it was the cool new thing in 2009.

But at the time, I was already a technology PR writing coach. And yes, I was answering similar questions, which – to the askers – felt new and even painful.

Fast-forward to now: There’s a pretty sizable bank of great advice, all of it tailored to writing, editing, pitching and strategic thinking for PR. And it’s free. For you.

Here’s a sampling:

  1. Pitches — Rookie mistakes to avoid when pitching news media
  1. Press releases – Fast way to write resonant lead for product announcement
  1. Surveys – How big should the sample size be?
  1. Award submissions – Top-tier winners use narrative structure
  1. Editing others — Three+ tips for editing others
  1. Competitive analysis – Make the leap to top-tier business press
  1. Punctuation — Apostrophe S: Is it Edwards’ blog or Edwards’s blog?
  1. All writing – Choose verbs that invigorate

You can find more posts like this on my website and on my old blogspot blog.

I never intended to create this huge bank of posts. Each one began as a spontaneous response to an actual problem or question on a PR team.

Gradually over the years, I saw patterns in the problems, patterns in the solutions, and finally patterns in my responses.

Workshops were born.

And then a company: WriteCulture.

I chose the name because most PR documents are team-written. A team’s processes and dynamics can even more important than the “skills training” itself. My aim is to leave agencies and in-house teams with a self-sustaining culture of self-improvement.

You probably know many people who have been trained by us. If you start mentioning my name, I bet you’ll find nods of familiarity and appreciation.

Let’s see. Do you know any of the people below?

“Our pitches have gotten a huge number of responses — four hits yesterday alone. I’ve been hearing rumblings of excitement in the office about that.”

— Korina Buhler

 

“I  spent 30 minutes cranking out a revised version of an article and got the best response I’d ever had. One person told me they got teary-eyed while reading it.”

— Ben Noble

 

“We have won every award we’ve submitted for, and Lauren helped with all of those. She has given me a lot of confidence.”

— Ali Kazen

 

“When I ask executives to answer questions, take interviews, or help me with a project, I get a much higher “yes” return on these asks than my colleagues.”

— Sarah Bennett

 

“Within an hour, Lauren changed my perception of writing and helped our team create a customized process. We re-examined our writing with her “pre-writing tool kit.”

— Karen Lee

 

“In my 10+ years in communications, I’ve yet to experience writing training as comprehensive, practical, and effective as WriteCulture’s.

— Eddie McGraw

 

“WriteCulture can teach the full spectrum: strategic pre-writing, connecting technology to business, words that illuminate, and precise editing that builds credibility.”

— Emily Douglas

 

“WriteCulture’s teaching style and process helped my team build trust in themselves and communicate more clearly. Worth the investment!”

— Travis Murdock

 

Ninety-five percent of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals, mostly from previously trained people who have been promoted and want their new team to get the same great results.

***

WriteCulture creates, customizes and delivers workshops for technology PR teams on writing, editing, pitching and strategic thinking.

 

Contact us to explore the possibility of training for your in-house or agency team.

 

If you’d like to get these free tips weekly, sign up here.

 

About Lauren Edwards

A former AP journalist prepared this menu of tips and advice for you to share today with your own PR team.

Lauren Edwards has been a technology PR writing coach since 2000, and “inadvertantly” created a huge bank of free resources.

Topics range from pitching to punctuation.

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