5 Ways to Strengthen Your Writing Skills Without Breaking a Sweat

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By Julia Prior

As PR professionals, our writing skill is one of the most important that we have, but also the one we probably take for granted the most. It’s important to consciously strengthen and improve our writing, not only to benefit ourselves, but also to benefit the brands that we represent and support.

But what do we gain from the same old writing exercises? Press releases, backgrounders, industry blog posts definitely build your writing skill, but after a while you start to run on autopilot.

Below are my favorite ways to spice up my writing routine and strengthen my PR muscles. Go ahead and give them a try.

  1. Read. We’ve always been told that reading makes you smarter. It’s true. Reading also helps you write better. It can fuel both content and craft in ways you don’t even realize until you start reading on a regular basis. Plus, reading for pleasure has been shown to help you sleep better and will lower stress. Read books from industry leaders as well as novels. Variety is the key; it will expose you to different information as well as new ways of telling a story.
  2. Volunteer for writing projects. Does your company have a blog? Write up a few posts for it. Write case studies and white papers. Each project will flex a different part of your writing muscle.
  3. Start your own blog. Have a passion for something unrelated to your work? Write about it. We live in an age where anyone can be a writer, as long as you have a topic and the passion and dedication to build an audience. Sure, write about your industry, but also write about your passion in fishing, local music and BBQ. If you have multiple passions, pick one. Personally, I write about social media, public relations, writing, healthy lifestyles and weight loss. I used to write about college basketball. My point is: write about what you love and suddenly writing won’t be such a chore or cause anxiety.
  4. Tweet. The ability to get your thoughts, messages and points across is good, but to be able to get them across in less than 140 characters takes skill. The essentials behind writing for Twitter are the essentials of writing for PR. Be engaging, informative and concise.
  5. Ask for feedback. Ask someone you trust to read over what you’ve written and give you honest, but polite reviews of your work. It will help you grow as a writer and will ensure you produce a quality end-product.

What are your favorite ways to exercise your writing muscle and mix things up?

Stop SOPA

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Imagine a world without Google, You Tube, WordPress or Wikipedia. No blogging, easy research tools or online entertainment. Businesses could fail. Teachers would be limited on their resources. Free speech wouldn’t exist. Life would get harder for those of us who spend plenty of time using the Internet daily.

Well, this is SOPA and PIPA.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) draw in much criticism from Americans claiming these laws violate “free and open Internet.” If passed by Congress, these laws could shut down websites without a court hearing, make patrons vulnerable to Internet hacking, deplete our free speech, and overall damage businesses (even non-profits). This type of censorship is practiced in China, Iran and Syria.

Check out AmericanCensorship.com for graphics on the “Internet Blacklist Bill.”

Websites such as Google, Wikipedia and a handful of others are blacking out their websites today. It’s time to take action and step up for our liberties. Sign the Google petition here- www.google.com/landing/takeaction