There’s Only One Kind of Writing

September 16, 2010

by Roger Pynn

I’ve long been bothered by college courses titled “Writing for Public Relations.”

Now I’m seeing conversations in the blogosphere about “Writing for Online Consumption” or “Digital Copywriting.”  Yuck!

There’s only one kind of writing … writing for understanding.

Sure, you have to fit your thoughts into 140 characters on Twitter, and twice that in the space allotted by Facebook … but the job of the writer is now, always has been and will forever more be to communicate a message.

Search Engine Optimization forces us to identify and include the words that people are searching for as they surf the Internet in hopes of finding a nugget of information important to their life.  Inherent in that science is understanding what people are really looking for.  Beyond a word there is a phrase that is used to make up a sentence that conveys a message.

When we write something as part of a public relations program – whether for a news release, a blog post, a newsletter article or a speech – the first job is to assure we’ve conveyed a message.  Then we have to look at whether the way in which it is written will fit in the medium through which it will be delivered.

Good writers who have honed their skills can often make that appear to happen in one step … but the truth is that their brains are multi-tasking and the first task is producing a message people can comprehend.

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