Ch 2- “Persuasive Writing” Thoughts & Opinions

Notes and Thoughts from:
“Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques” by Dennis Wilcox
(I use the 5th edition, in case you see references to page numbers ;) )

On page 46, are some tips on Effective Communication. Most are pretty obvious but it’s a good thing to keep them in mind. I like the saying on number 3, “Communicate with people, not at them.” I especially hate this when people talk to me and act like I am five, but sometimes in writing, we have to break-stuff-down at a level that most people can understand. Just be conscious when you break down information for your audience so it doesn’t sound like you are talking at them like a kindergarten class.

I like the diagram on page 51 called “Appeals That Move People to Act.”  It talks about a list of persuasive message themes that were thought up by a guy named Charles Marsh who worked on
Communication World. For example, think of how many times you saw or heard an advertisement and these phrases were mentioned: “save time,” “satisfy appetite,” “save money,” or “make work easier.” This is the kind of information that the diagram talks about. When writing to your audience, be aware of when you use these types of catch phrases- it may be necessary if you are trying to persuade your audience, but can also be a turn off to your audience if their opinions on what you write rely on more statistical information. (This is why it is important to Know-Your-Audience!)

I put a star next to “Why Marketing Materials Fail to Persuade” on page 53.
Writing specialist, Dianna Huff gives 10 reasons why marketing goes unseen:

  1. Emphasis on the company instead of the customer
  2. All features, no benefits
  3. Copy that fails to say, “What’s in it for me?”
  4. Too much jargon
  5. Redundancies
  6. No call to action
  7. Copy not addressed to target audience
  8. Failure to nail down messaging
  9. Poor grammar
  10. Failure to edit or proofread

Remember “TARES” the ethics test for PR writers (pg 59):
Truthfulness Authenticity Respect Equity Social-responsibility


About misslowoodward

loves a good bike ride, cooking a tasty vegetarian meal, planting flowers, walking the dog, and making art (and cupcakes!) :o)
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