Written by Caitlin Eckvahl, Account Executive for PRSA Account Team.
Being a PR professional means that you’ll be one of the main communicators for an entire organization. Outside of cranking out press releases, you’ll find yourself communicating a variety of messages to many audiences. Here are some of the different types of writing you can expect:
Annual reports: At the end of the year most companies celebrate with a grand Christmas party. As a public relations specialist, you’ll be celebrating by consolidating the annual report. Annual reports typically help businesses to demonstrate and quantify their accomplishments for the year. The target audiences for annual reports typically include donors, partners, and other stakeholders.
Fact Sheets: The numbers don’t write themselves. If you thought you could avoid math in this profession, then you were wrong. Fact sheets require deep research and you’re going to make sense of the numbers. Fact sheets are concise, one-page reports that provide basic facts about any particular topic. Facts sheets are especially useful to give to reporters and journalists.
Memos: Writing a memorandum takes skill. Much like a press release, a memo is usually a single-page document that highlights only the essential information. Memos are helpful tools that can help employees, board members, or volunteers stay updated on important announcements. Memos are meant to be informative and skimmable, so be sure to use bullet points.
Newsletters: Internal communication is just as important as external communication. Keep your employees in the know with weekly or monthly newsletters. Newsletters are often sent via email and illustrate current and upcoming events. Newsletters don’t follow a strict format but it is useful to include links, testimonials, or stories that interest readers.
These are just a few types of projects you’ll encounter as a public relations practitioner, and you are almost guaranteed to encounter so much more. As you can see, you will be expected to be able to write for a variety of purposes in different styles and formats.
Caitlin Eckvahl is a public relations and nonprofit administration double major. She currently works at the Wesley Community Center in Eugene as the media relations director. Outside of work she spends her time at the Teaching and Learning Center as a writing tutor. After graduation she hopes to work for educational nonprofits that focus on literacy and language learning.