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Writing Good PR Texts: A How-to Guide

10. March 2023

Imagine the text as your construction site as a first step to succeed in writing good texts.  

Every trade needs tools – whether it’s the electrician’s, mechanic’s, civil servant’s or the journalist’s trade. If you want to write good texts, you have to approach copywriting like working on a construction site. And in order to work successfully on this construction site, certain tools are required. The good news is: regardless of the topic you’re writing about, there are usually the same hurdles to overcome. Be the construction worker who turns his text in construction into a compelling work of art. Be that a press release you’re writing or a blog post. How? By clearing the following seven obstacles.

The seven obstacles to a good PR copy  

The rules you need to follow in order to produce a good text.   

  1. Long sentences 

Overly long sentences contain too much information. They are tiring. What can you do about it? Convert long sentences into sentences of manageable length. A sentence should have about seven to fourteen words. Very important: Variety and linguistic rhythm facilitate the reading flow. Decide on one statement per sentence – this way you do not create false hierarchies among the sentence statements and each sentence has the right emphasis.   

  1. Dependent clauses  

Beware the false hierarchies created by dependent clauses. Auch “Dass-Konstruktionen” können falsche Satz-Hierarchien erzeugen. The message of a sentence is usually contained in the dependent clause. The main clause then only serves as an introduction to the message. It is devoid of meaning and, to put it mildly, unnecessary. Therefore, combine the main and dependent clauses into a single main clause or two main clauses, or place a colon after the introduction.  

  1. Passive voice

Who are we talking about here? Who is the protagonist of the story? If it is not clear who or what the text is about, the reader will switch off. With passive sentences, this can happen very quickly. They often disorient the reader and turn the text into a vacuum. The main actor of a text should always be named, therefore: active instead of passive.  

  1. Such nouns are bad omens  

When verbs or adjectives are nominalized in a sentence, the protagonist of the sentence can quickly disappear. The text loses its suspense as a result. Who is interested in a story without an actor? Therefore, it is advisable to avoid nominalizations. And the tool for getting rid of the nominal style? Look for the adjectives and verbs in the nouns and use them to liven up your text. 

  1. Insiderspeak 

Every group talks differently. Whether it’s friends, a club, family, or colleagues – those who spend a lot of time together develop a certain way of speaking. The problem is that not every outsider understands this kind of language. Another problem is that it can create a feeling of exclusion among outsiders. If readers don’t understand the language, they will quickly think, “This isn’t for me.” These thoughts should not be allowed to emerge in the first place. The tools to overcome this hurdle? Omit, paraphrase, or translate complicated terms.  

Pia Plattek
PR-Beraterin, Chefredakteurin, Krisenmanagerin

Ihr Merkzettel

6 Mistakes to avoid in PR texts:

✘ Long sentences
✘ Dependent clauses
✘ Passive voice
✘ Too many nouns
✘ Insiderspeak

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