Saturday, March 20

Writing For Public Relations: On Advertising

There is always something strange about dedicating one Writing For Public Relations class to the subject of advertising. Sure, public relations professionals need to understand it, especially those who work within the communication or marketing departments of small- to medium-sized companies.

They will no doubt write advertisements, brochures, scripts, and other advertising material. And yet, I cannot help but wonder how well those advertisements will turn out. Writing for public relations is a fundamentally different skill set, and not all writers have enough talent to toggle between the two disciplines.

At the same time, I think, at least they can learn a few things from advertising that they need to know, especially if public relations continues to pursue social media. Many blog posts, after all, are much more similar to an advertisement than an article. They aim to persuade more than they ever hope to inform. And the best ads always aim to have a conversation with the consumer, which means the only difference between ads and some posts is that the consumer is allowed to talk back.

The above is a supplement deck for Writing For Public Relations at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The intent of this deck is to provide students with an understanding of advertising that goes beyond the "rules" posted on dozens of blogs every day. Because in advertising, anybody who is any good at it will tell you that there are no rules.

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