Welcome to the Cred Book Club!
Our goal is to provide practical PR insights to our clients. The mission of our book club is to introduce you to the books that we value the most when it comes to delivering quality communications campaigns.
We will share a communications book through our social media platforms on the first week of every calendar month with a short summary of why we found the book valuable. Please do get involved. We buy most of our books through Book Depository where you can get a discount and free postage (in Hong Kong).
You can share your thoughts on our choices through social media – follow us on Instagram at @Cred_communications or Facebook at @credcommunications and LinkedIn on CredCommunications to find our latest recommendations and tag us at #credbookclub.
‘We need a more contemporary reimagining of our knowledge-based administrative flexibility.’
‘This is no time to bite the bullet with our global third-generation innovation.’
Do you understand the above? No, me neither. The texts were generated by the wonderful Plain English Campaign’s ‘gobbley gook machine’.
One of my favourite resources as a public relations professional is the Plain English Campaign website. An ex-employee recommended the website to me over 15 years ago – most likely because I was a perpetrator of gobbley gookness. And, I have never looked back.
The Plain English Campaigners are big fans of clear and concise communications that have just the right tone and the all important reader in mind. They champion for straightforward language and have many supporters, one of which states that plain English “is much more effective than complicated jargon, pompous words, long sentences and endless paragraphs.”
You will find a wealth of fantastic resources on their website about the benefits of writing in plain English. They claim that the main advantages of writing in plain English are: a) it is faster to write; b) it is faster to read; and c) you get your message across more often, more easily and in a friendlier way.
You can find tips like the following on their website:
- Stop and think before you start writing. Make a note of the points you want to make in a logical order.
- Prefer short words. Long words will not impress your customers or help your writing style.
- Use everyday English whenever possible. Avoid jargon and legalistic words, and always explain any technical terms you have to use.
- Keep your sentence length down to an average of 15 to 20 words. Try to stick to one main idea in a sentence.
- Use active verbs as much as possible. Say ‘we will do it’ rather than ‘it will be done by us’.
- Be concise.
- Imagine you are talking to your reader. Write sincerely, personally, in a style that is suitable and with the right tone of voice.
- And always check that your writing is clear, helpful, human and polite
You will find also find a wealth of fantastic resources including the following free guides:
Remember nobody, especially these days, has time to wade through copy that could be explained in just a few simple sentences.
If you are in the field of public relations, what are your thoughts on writing in plain English? Do you know of an equivalent guide in other languages such as Cantonese?
Thanks for reading. We have many other articles about public relations for you to read. Have you read our blog post on ’99+ reasons to do Public Relations’ yet?
Press releases still matter. They remain the main way to supply journalists with easy to digest information in a recognisable format. They are how we achieve the majority of great coverage for our clients.
We previously mentioned the importance of writing a great press release in our blog article 6 Actions to Take Before Engaging the Media. In this post we are going to explore 9 Vital Components of a Great Press Release.
- First things first, you need a great heading including a news angle to draw people in (same heading can be used in your email to the media). Journalists receive 100s of emails per day. Your release needs to stand out.
- Traditionally every release should include who, what, where, when and why in the first paragraph so that journalists can quickly identify whether this is a story that they want to write about or not.
- Keep it short! Journalists have very little time. It needs to be short, to the point and in plain English (try not to waffle or use language only an expert from your sector would understand). Trust me, no one wants to read pages and pages of how great you are with multiple product photos embedded into the copy.
- Include links to photos that can be downloaded and also a link to your website and social media channels. Journalists will check these out. If you are lucky, organisations will create a link back to your website but this is not guaranteed as remember this is earned media and not paid media.
- The release should be written in third person and not as a piece of sales material that talks directly to the audience. Let the journalist draft the article for his or her readers.
- Ensure that it is relevant and newsworthy to the market you are pitching. Is it new, relevant, good or bad news, related to an existing story, the biggest, the smallest, timely?
- Include a quote from a spokesperson, someone senior and available to be interviewed at a moment’s notice.
- Add your contact details,email and mobile no, to the press release so that media can follow up with you instantly.
- Include a boiler plate at the end of the release – this is a short bio of your brand or organisation so that the journalist clearly understands when you were established, who you are, what you do and why you do it.
Remember, don’t pitch to a journalist unless they write about your sector and it is relevant to them, otherwise it is spam and they may never open another email from you again or worse shame you on social media for not doing your research properly.
Do you take a look at our post 99 Reasons to do PR.
Public Relations can be hugely beneficial to organisations in so many different ways. With this in mind we have pulled together 100 reasons why organisations should consider having an inhouse PR department or use an agency.
Let us know if you can think of any more benefits in the comments section below!
|1||increases awareness of your brand|
|2||can change behaviours|
|4||drives website visitors|
|5||can attract investors|
|6||helps you to tell your story simply|
|9||highlights your corporate social responsibility activities|
|10||engages the community|
|11||makes you successful|
|12||discovers brand sentiment|
|14||enables you to charge more for your services|
|15||is much much more than media relations|
|16||can increase queries about your business|
|17||can visually tell your story|
|18||profiles your executive team|
|19||obtains global reach|
|21||provides effective mediation|
|23||announces new employees|
|24||establishes you as a thought leader|
|25||creates memorable speeches|
|26||cultivates the perfect soundbite|
|27||refines your key messages|
|33||encourages brand recall|
|36||will react quickly to any issues|
|38||focuses on human interest|
|40||generates media interest months later|
|41||creates an online presence far longer than advertising|
|42||establishes thought leadership|
|44||improves employee relationships|
|45||reaches large audiences|
|46||helps you to get your story in front of the right person|
|47||transforms your business|
|48||converts sales leads|
|50||helps you to be found online|
|51||generates fresh new ideas|
|52||has a proven return on investment|
|53||attracts the media|
|55||generates great social media content|
|57||generates word of mouth|
|58||helps to raise money|
|59||steers the conversation|
|60||helps you to get close to your customers|
|61||can be monetised|
|62||provides an ongoing newsroom|
|63||leads the news agenda|
|64||helps to set key messages|
|66||provides continious new content|
|68||identifies potential risks|
|69||reduces reputational risks|
|70||improves quality of conversations with employees|
|72||provides an ethical contribution|
|76||boosts staff morale|
|77||helps you to launch something new|
|78||covers government relations & public affairs|
|80||starts a new trend|
|82||enhances online presence|
|83||analyses share of voice|
|84||hijacks the news agenda or newsjacking|
|85||makes digital work harder and further|
|86||provides corporate governance|
|87||will deliver organisational objectives|
|88||drive audiences to your social channels|
|89||can create memorable campaigns|
|91||obtains public support|
|92||optimises social media channels|
|93||tells customer stories|
|94||keeps employees informed|
|95||encourages social conversations|
|97||educates the public|
|98||ensures consistent messaging|