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Thoughts on Public Relations, Communications, Social Media, Sports and anything else in my life…

Developing Your Toolkit

The most important step in becoming a PR writer is assembling your toolkit. Any writer–novice or professional–must take the time to gather all the materials they will need in order to successfully craft a well-written article.

As a current PR student who has written many different types of writings, I feel like I could share some of my own insight into what I feel are the basics any aspiring PR writer should incorporate into their toolkit. Keep in mind, these are just my own contributions. Your toolkit may have more or less.

  • An updated version of the Associated Press Stylebook. This is extremely important when you need to decide whether you should use website or web site, for example. (It is two words by the way: web site.)
  • A thesaurus. I use a thesaurus every time I write any piece. I do not like to repeat words as I write and so the thesaurus is a vital part of my toolkit. (MS Word’s thesaurus is good as well!)
  • A textbook or guidebook that can demonstrate the layout of certain writings you may not be accustomed to writing. I have had to refer to my textbook many times, either for class or my internship, when crafting a piece so that it looks professional and acceptable.
  • A good contact List. You never know when you may need to gain extra information that you could not get on your own.
  • A good grasp on grammar. You should be able to form grammatically correct sentences and string them together to create well-rounded sentences. (This is a tough tool to polish. Keep up with your basic knowledge and use reference tools when you are unsure.)
  • Patience. Many writers begin crafting their pieces and do not allow for information to sink in or new ideas to form. You may feel like your writing is superb, when in reality it is a very, very rough draft. Take your time and self-edit several times to ensure that you have covered all the bases.

This pretty much rounds out my toolkit. I’m sure I may have left out some other parts, but I will repost them as they surface. This should go without being said, but you must also have all research and information on the topic you are writing when you set out to write. Believe it or not, but many beginning writers fail to incorporate much of the meat to the story. It is one of those lessons you must learn the hard way, trust me!

With that being said, your toolkit is never finished. You will always find new tools and skills to add to it. Building your toolkit is one of the most exciting aspects of public relations. Take advantage of any opportunities you have to expand and build. Blogging is just one good way!

If you have anything you would add to the toolkit I have assembled, please comment. I am always looking to expand my toolkit and keep it current.

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Filed under: Toolkit

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