The Public Relations Blog
We must be cautious when claiming things are “the best” or “the worst.”
It’s easy to exaggerate when you’re having a bad day – “I just had the worst day ever!” – but it’s important to choose your words carefully when it comes to making claims about your company.
Why it’s important for a copy editor to review your content... Yes, a single grammar mistake cost one organization millions of dollars.
According to a New York Times article, drivers in Maine received $5 million because of a dispute over the Oxford comma. You may not think a single comma is important, but this case shows why a small mistake could be costly — and the importance of copy editing.
Topics: copy editing
Although these may be easily confused, there is a distinct difference.
Peer reviewing, copy editing, and proofreading are three terms that are easily confused and seem interchangeable. While these roles aim to make sure writing is error-free and easy to read, there is a distinct difference among the three.
Topics: copy editing
What gender-neutral communications look like
An integral part of public relations is respect: respect for your customers, your audience, and the community you serve. One of the simplest ways to show your respect is to use someone’s correct pronouns. Misgendering an individual not only shows your lack of interest, but it can deeply hurt the person you are referring to.
So with that in mind, what does pronoun use look like in public relations?
The top two rules for correct article usage
When writing content for your company, you want to make sure all nine parts of speech are correct. The nine parts of speech are nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, articles, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Grammar errors as simple as using the wrong part of speech in a sentence make your company look unprofessional. Show you care about the content you publish by making sure even the smallest, most seemingly inconsequential parts of speech are used correctly. If your company’s writing is not of high-quality and prioritized, then buyers will infer the quality of your products and services is not a priority either.
Speaking of, what part of speech is commonly written incorrectly in public relations writing? Articles. Know the difference between “a,” “an,” and “the” with these two simple rules.
Know the different types of style guides news media outlets use
Your company just accomplished a major milestone, donated to charity, or expanded its footprint. Congratulations! Now you want to send a news/press release to get the news media’s attention you’ve earned. Before you do that, you’ll first want to make sure your news release is written in the media outlet’s preferred style. Otherwise, the newsroom may not use it.
And what is copy editing style, and how do you find out what the media outlets use?
Tips and tricks to writing an eye-catching headline
Even in Pulitzer prize-winning articles, the story’s content is the last thing read. Headlines are almost always the first thing that catches a reader’s eye. They are the hook, the reason a reader chooses to dive into a story rather than keep scrolling. This makes headlines possibly the most important — yet undervalued — aspect of any story.
When your company writes PR materials, blog posts, or articles submitted for publication, you should explore what makes an effective headline.
Although only a few words, correct quote attribution gives your story more clarity and credibility
So much of PR relies on effective communication, including quoting your executives, citing experts in the field, and crafting news releases. Getting the right quote is only half the battle. Once you know what you want to include, you need to make sure the attribution is correct. Without proper attribution, you can lose your audience’s trust.
Quote attribution can be tricky as each quote scenario adheres to unique rules. At Axia Public Relations, we follow the “Associated Press Stylebook’s” quote attribution policies. Be sure to check your own organization’s copy editing stylebook on quote attribution as some organizations have different guidelines.
Ensure external communications appeal to media with copy editing
As a public relations firm, we believe it’s important to provide you with a white-glove experience. One of the ways we do that is by offering comprehensive PR solutions and value-added services at no additional cost. One of those services is copy editing all content and documents that we share with the media, post on a newswire, or otherwise submit on your company’s behalf.
When it comes to media relations and corporate communications, PR pros should follow AP Style
Anytime you communicate with a client or customer, you make an impression on behalf of your company. You want to represent professionalism and quality of content, and your written communications are simple ways to do that.
Spelling and grammar mistakes make your company look unprofessional, sloppy, and uninterested. If you don’t ensure all your written communications are error-free, it looks like your company didn’t put forth the time and effort to produce its very best work. Clear, consistent copy editing improves your company’s corporate communications.