When starting anything new, it is important to learn how its to learn how it is done (or more importantly not done.) I reviewed a few professional Public Relations blogs and newsletters to examine the style of modern, online PR writers today.
I think that reviewing other PR blogs and newsletter will help me to develop my own professional blogging style and opinions that I can incorporate here!
The first blog I took a look at was Copyblogger . At first glance, I could tell the blog was well organized with large bold headings to all its posts and they were relevant and related to the blog theme.
Current Homepage of Copyblogger.com 6/14/16
I appreciated how the first thing that comes up on the home page is the latest blog post, this makes it so easy for readers to dive straight into the content.
The blog had a decent amount of graphics but I felt they were lacking exuberant and eye catching images. The images I saw on the blog almost looked like ads if one was scrolling quickly down the pages. I would add more vibrant images and also include clever captions to go with!
The blogger did a fine job of embedding all the hyperlinks within the post. The blog had posts of varying topics. Headlines included were, “What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer?” and “How to Write With Power and Authority.”
The writing style was casual and informal. It received an average readability score of 5.7. It was easy to follow and understand. Anyone who is in a rush can skim through the posts and still understand the main point!
I learned a lot from the blog. For example, a Content Marketer is someone who is creative and strategic. They create text, images, audio, or video that delivers a relevant and interesting message for commercial purpose.
I noticed the calming blue background of the blog initially. I love anything blue. Similar to Copyblogger, this blog had the latest blog post at the very top of the home page. I love it when bloggers don’t make you search for their posts!
The writing style was upbeat but too specifically familiar for my taste. As someone who was new to this blog I felt out of place from the two latest posts. I felt both of these posts were targeted towards long time readers.
The blogger spoke a lot on their personal life in the latest posts. If you are looking for a purely professional PR writing blog I would go somewhere else. But if you are looking to learn more about PR writing in a very personal way, look no further.
The posts could have used subheadings and less italics. There were not very many graphics, mostly just content. This was slightly overwhelming, perhaps some images could lighten this up.
The Well-Fed Writer Blog 6/14/1
I think the headlines varied on how well they conveyed the theme of the blog posts to the reader. Headlines included, “Ever had Freelance Moments Like This?” and “Well-fed Writer Blog Subscribers Please Unsubscribe and Re-subscribe.”
Notice how one headline is incredibly specific and tells readers exactly what the post is about while the other is vague and indirect.
The blog scored an 8.6 on the readability scale. I think this is appropriate for the target audience, its clear and easy to understand. I doubt anyone under the eighth grade will be on the site.
I learned about how including too much of your personal life in your professional blog can become overwhelming to a reader who may not be looking to read about that in professional blog.
I think it is valuable to tell your story and use real life examples but too much of this takes away from the professionalism of the blog.
Homepage of PR Newser 6/14/16
The style of this was very different from the blogs I reviewed because it immediately seemed more expert and journalistic.
I liked the big news story headlines and how each one had a graphic attached to it on the home page.
The graphics were all equally proportional to each other which gave off a clean and organized appearance.
After each headline and graphic there are three “peek-a-boo” lines from each article that expand on the headline.
I liked this tactic because it can help pull readers into reading more information.
The writing style was very clear and clean. The author did not use a bunch of jargon or technical terms which was good. I feel like anyone could read it and learn more about PR without having any background in it.
PR Newser had good use of subheadings within articles which helped to break up the content. All of the hyperlinks were embedded within the sentences well.
At the bottom of each article was a graphic of the author.I loved that they included that because it gave a face to the voice from the article.
PR Newser scored an 8.7 on the readability scale. I feel that an 8.7 is good for a professional news site because it is easy enough for all their target audiences to be able to read and comprehend quickly.
I learned some awesome tips on how to break into social media which will come in handy since I plan to one day be a PR professional. For example, you have to learn how to stand out. What makes you different from people who are doing the same thing as you?
Also I learned it is vital to stay current on all news happenings. You never know when you will have to relate a news story to your company and know exactly how the business stands on the issue.
The first thing I noticed about The Holmes Report was the homepage had a mosaic format for organizing their latest news stories. This felt very fresh and modern, it also gave equal homepage time to the top stories of the day.
Next I noticed that readers could search through their content based on different regions of the globe. There were the menu options of “Global”, “North America”, “EMEA”, and “Asia Pacific.” I thought this was innovative and efficient when reaching international readers.
There were many varying topics being covered on the site since it is so globalized. Headlines included, “Airbnb Steps Up China Engagement After Edelman Hire” and “Axicom Hires Cathy Pittham As Global CEO To Lead Expansion.”
If you couldn’t tell by the headlines on this site, it is very upper level information. The site scored a 17.2 on the readability test. I am not surprised by this score.
The content of the site is very serious and technical, which means the writing must match this in order to convey the information appropriately. There is a lot of jargon thrown around through the all of their articles.
I would not suggest this site to someone who is not concerned with Public Relations on a very global scale.
The site had a great use of vibrant and strong graphics that popped on each post while not overtaking the entire page. The site authors had a good use of strong headlines with sub-headlines expanding more on the content of each article.
I learned that when reaching large audiences it is wise to sub categorize content by regions, whether it is international or local.