Clear, compassionate, and confident: when it comes to creating PR or marketing materials during a critical situation, these are the three guiding principles to incorporate into your writing. Communicating amid the coronavirus (COVID-19), or any other crisis for that matter, may involve written, verbal, and even nonverbal communication, so it’s important that you are understood across all channels and to a wide audience.
In an effort to keep our pencils sharpened, the team at Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based PR agency Durée & Company recently participated in a webinar hosted by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and writing trainer Ann Wylie. We gained some valuable insight that was worth sharing, regarding how to adjust writing practices during these unprecedented times.
We’re pleased to provide our 5 key takeaways from the webinar to help you write more effectively during crisis situations, including the current COVID-19 pandemic:
- Stop selling and start solving. Write more about your readers’ needs and less about your product or service. Readers are worried, and want to know if and how their lives will get back to “normal.”
Run a “we-you” ratio on anything you write. The number of times the word “you” appears in your copy should greatly outweigh the number of times “we” appears. (In this blog alone, “you” and “your” are mentioned 25 times, and “we” and “we’re” comes up eight times.)
- Cut through the clutter. Don’t use long paragraphs or big words. Pretty much every person and organization in the world is being affected by COVID-19, and everyone’s minds are elsewhere. Make your writing simple to read.
- Name your voice. Decide on a tone you want to use throughout your writing. Do you want to be serious? Do you want to inform and help the reader? At this point, don’t use “on a lighter note.” Maybe in six weeks or so if everyone is still hunkered down, this might be appropriate, but not now.
- Remember the two rewards of reading. These rewards are 1) entertainment and 2) info you can use to live your life better. Get to the point. Calculate readability statistics such as the average number of words per sentence, the average number of syllables per word, and more to understand how effectively you are getting across to your readers.
- Communicate early and often. Right away, get the word out about how you or your organization can help others. Keep communicating it. It’s OK not to have all the answers now, but you can follow-up with more information.
While the style of PR and marketing writing is always clear, concise, and compelling, it needs to be fine-tuned even more now that COVID-19 is on the top of everyone’s minds. Contact the seasoned writing, PR, and marketing professionals at Durée & Company. We can provide you with expertise at this time when everything needs to be simple, quick, and effective.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, marine & yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.