My colleague Steve Kayser, editor of Expert Access, set the record straight for newbies in the PR world in a cover story for Media Bullseye. His conclusion, writing simple news is really complex. Do it wrong and the experience wilts fast.
Steve says a big part of the reason for the complexity of PR these days: "It’s more from the frenetic pace of change in the PR industry. Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts, Social Media, SEO, SEO PR, Tags, and on and on and on. The technology changes alone can be daunting or intimidating."
I say AMEN to that. All of us in marketing communications are feeling this pace of change. We have to master the intricacies of our own company’s products and these change every day to stay ahead of the competition. We have to master the skill of communicating … heck, that’s always been a challenge because writing is simply hard work. We have to master all the customer touchpoints and these are exploding, literally exploding in our faces. And we have to master new marketing automation tools that make it easier to do our work and distribute our communications through all these new touchpoints. And we have to master analytics so we can measure whether what we are doing works and merits the money spent on it. It is enough to keep your head spinning.
But one of the toughest of all these masteries is the one Steve discussed on Media Bullseye: Simplifying what we write. I encourage you to spin over there and read what Steve has to share. He has four simple rules (well, actually he stole them from Hemingway). To that, I would add one simple thought … I would have written a shorter blog post, but I didn’t have time. Well, to be honest, I kind of ripped that one off from Samuel Clemens (the real guy behind Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer) … or Samuel Johnson or T. S. Eliot … at one time or another they have all been given credit for the memorable line: I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one. Writing short and simple — as Hemingway, Twain, Johnson and Eliot would all agree is like sweating blood.
Steve Kayser is currently the director of PR for Cincom Systems, a global software and services company. In addition to his PR duties Steve publishes Cincom’s award-winning Expert Access E-zine which has grown to 135,000 subscribers globally. Steve is also an award-winning business writer. Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.