One of the biggest struggles your students may encounter is understanding the differences between writing for public relations and journalism. Because the two are so similar, the differences can become hard to recognize and even harder to express through their writing.
Begin by emphasizing to your students how important writing in public relations is. In Effective Public Relations, the authors list writing and editing first when describing the ten basic work assignments in public relations. This assignment is followed by media relations and placement in their list. Once you have established how important writing and media relations are, convincing them of the similarities in the two writing styles will be easier.
Address these similarities when teaching public relations writing. The authors of Public Relations Writing: An Issue-Driven Behavioral Approach, state the “traditional who, what, where, when, why and how of news writing are critically important to the development of the news release” (p. 103). Then move into some of the subtle differences that differentiate the two styles.
I would suggest a checklist of elements for each style. This checklist works well as an overhead and can generate some important discussion. Feel free to use this checklist in your classes. Send any additional suggestion to my yahoo group.
Additional Elements (product, fact sheet...)
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