Chapter 15 focused on the importance of effective writing in public relations. I found this chapter to be pretty interesting and thought it made some extremely extremely valid points. The emergence of the internet introduced various new mediums by which to communicate (i.e. Youtube), writing seems to remain the key to successful public relations and strategic communication. For an organization to communicate effectively, its SO essential that they are able to write effectively and clearly. The textbook states that “the ability to write easily, coherently and quickly distinguishes the public relations professional from the others in the organization”, which I think is a great point.

The chapter talks about “writing for the eye and the ear”, a concept I’ve heard before but never really understood. This idea of the difference of writing for a reader and writing for a listener, I think is an extremely useful and important. A reader has the ability to scan the message, skip over sections, come back to them, and read the material as many times as they want. Writing for the eye must be flawless and able to withstand the most careful inspection. A listener, on the other hand, only gets to hear the message once, and must base their comprehension of that message on their one opportunity to hear it (unless the message is recorded or available for multiple listens). This presents a different challenge for the writer; the attention of the listener must be captured quickly, or it might never be. If the listener gets bored or uninterested they’ll tune out. Further, the chances of regaining their attention, once they have disregarded the message, is slim to none.

It seems like the power and importance of good writing is too often overlooked in the media world. The faster option always seems to be the better option, so people choose to watch videos or listen to podcasts instead of reading a newspaper. There’s no doubt that I am guilty of this too, watching a YouTube video is so much more enticing than reading a written article! But when it comes down to what skills are the most valuable in PR, writing seems unmatched to me. Writing is the basis for everything. Video news stories, commercials, podcasts, etc., must all have a well written script in order to accurately communicate the intended message. Most major companies have adopted Twitter as a way to market themselves; PR professionals need to know exactly how to articulate the company’s message in an 140 character tweet. If anything, good writing has become more prevalent than ever, and the ability to do it well is an invaluable skill (in any field, not just PR).