By: Katie Gerweck
We all know that in public relations the ability to write clearly and concisely is key. It’s important that, as students, we gain as much writing experience as possible so we can sharpen our skills. Although we get a good deal of practice in the classroom, there are other places we can get experience as well.
Internships are great for many reasons. You get real-world experience, make connections, and learn new skills. You also get a fair amount of writing experience. Beyond the typical press release, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work on writing projects that you normally wouldn’t cover in the classroom– like writing Tweets for a business, or working on its blog. (Not to mention it’ll give you some great pieces for your portfolio).
Blogging allows you to establish a presence online, and have some fun, too. With blogs, you can write about the things that interest you, and can design it to match your personality. Maintaining a blog keeps your writing skills sharp but gives you more flexibility in the topics you cover. You can start your own blog on free platforms like WordPress or Blogger, as well as be on the lookout for other blogs who allow guest submissions.
School Newspaper or Other Publications
You don’t have to be a journalism major to write for your school newspaper, and it’s another great way to get writing experience. Whether it’s a hard news story or a more feature-y arts and entertainment story, writing for the paper will help strengthen your skills. Like public relations practitioners, journalists use the AP stylebook and often have short deadlines.
However, you can write for other publications as well. Whether you want to write essays, poems, or non-fiction, there’s a place you can submit it, and hopefully get published. You can either do your own research or start with a list of publications, like Newpages.com’s Young Authors guide. (Although this guide includes many publications that only accept submissions from kids, there are also some for young adults/undergrads).
Regardless of which method or methods you choose, it’s important to keep practicing and strengthening your writing. Let me know how you get writing experience in the comments below!
Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She was the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.