I took creative writing courses for fun in high school and university. They weren’t required courses, but I figured, why not earn credit for telling stories and letting my imagination run wild? At the time, my objective wasn’t to develop life-long skills, become a writer, or hone my creative abilities; I was simply taking a mental break from other courses. You know, the ones you’re obligated to take to graduate. Years later, now a published author, and PR professional at Strategic Objectives, Canada’s top PR agency, I recognize the immense value of creative writing in the field of communications.
Read on to see how taking the “fun” courses at school helped me develop skills I will use for the rest of my PR career.
From the not-for-profit helping to end human trafficking to the footwear brand focused on sustainability, each of our clients has an important story to tell. We craft engaging and thought-provoking written materials to capture the attention of consumers and the media, sharing these stories with the world. Our ability to write creatively, use nuanced language, and critically evaluate the effect of our story on a reader are valuable tools — especially at a PR agency like ours with diverse clients, where the tone for each brand can vary from humorous and light, to serious and thoughtful. Weaving together a narrative that delights and captures the attention of the target audience is critical.
The fine art of writing goes well beyond picking up typos and grammatical errors. Words carry emotions, connotations and ultimately, great power. PR pros are responsible for selecting the right tone, words and style to convey a message to the masses. Practicing your creative wordsmithing (yes, you must practice!) will improve your ability to craft compelling marketing communications that persuade your audience and prove the value of your message. If you don’t carefully compose your communications materials, your words may be ignored or rejected. Top quality communications paired with timely PR tactics will amplify your message well beyond the echo chamber.
Like creative fiction, you must understand your characters at a deeper level for your writing to ring true in public relations. The further you dig into real emotions, the more the experience will resonate with the reader. We PR pros must always take time to step into our audience’s shoes, whose lives may be radically different from our own. We strive to draft messaging that relates to our target audience by stimulating understanding, empathy, compassion, and desire — depending on the story we’re telling on any given day.
I could not be more grateful for or excited by the opportunity to think creatively, tell stories and exercise my imagination daily. Whether it’s writing fiction for my next novel, or crafting an attention-grabbing media pitch, the skills I’ve acquired through the study and practice of creative writing are sure to serve me well throughout my PR career and life.
Danee Wilson is a Consultant at Strategic Objectives. Check out her first novel, a mystery titled “Murder at San Miguel”.
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