This is the second in a series of important PR tools that will help in content marketing, social media and media contact. The derive from the contention that the top online PR tools are very helpful. But if the content isn’t readable, and contains extra verbiage, repeated and unnecessary words, then all the PR strategy in the world won’t help it.
The ideas are based on excerpts from my forthcoming book, How to be a better online writer overnight. Some of its essential lessons are here. Follow this series and it will help you in whatever content or copy that’s created. Useful guides are also the AP Style in the U.S. and CP Style in Canada.
PR Tool #1: eliminate ‘in, at and located in’
In most writing, locations are mentioned, especially when it involves media contact. Apart from using fewer words to describe locations, it’s also worth studying what are the proper abbreviations for states, cities and provinces. There is even a correct way to refer to the U.S. The first reference is United States, the second is U.S. Never the United States of America in writing for earned media.
The Essential Lesson is: turn locations into adjectives. This is especially useful as an internal PR tool, when writing about company offices.
1. Using “in” or “at” before locations is usually unnecessary.
2. Put the location before the noun.
3. Eliminate the word “location.”
A. The company was located in Los Angeles
B. The Los Angeles company.
A. The hot dog in Chicago contains very specific ingredients.
B. The Chicago hot dog contains very specific ingredients.
(Steamed hall beef Vienna hot dog and poppy seed bun with mustard, no ketchup, onions, pickle relish, a sliced pickle, hot pepper and celery salt–delicious!)
A. The bagel in New York, however, comes in many varieties. (Plain, poppy, garlic, rye, pumpernickel, etc).
B. The New York bagel, however, comes in many varieties.
Apply this digital PR tool when writing about politics
The crisis in Washington
The Washington crisis
The Euro will not replace the pound in Britain.
The Euro will not replace the British pound.
Why those using social media as a PR tool persist in repeating governmental descriptors is beyond me. A city, state, province or country need not be identified as such.
The essential lesson:
When there is a modifier to a government, get rid of it. Some examples:
The city of Chicago
The city of Toronto
The state of Illinois
The province of Ontario
The country of France
A. Planned Parenthood Toronto (PPT) isa not-for-profit organization, whichprovides extensive community-based health care for The City ofToronto.
B. Planned Parenthood Toronto (PPT) provides extensive community-based health care for Toronto (or the city).
· This sentence not only has an ‘is’ problem but it also can excise the relative pronoun ‘which.’ Eliminating of is and by is something you will learn in as a new PR tool in subsequent columns.
· In general, describing something that’s obviously a charity is only necessary when it’s not clear.
News stories and articles to reach a target audience
A. A recent article in the Washington Post highlights emerging health care issues stating that the District of Columbia ranks last when it comes to timely access.
B. The Washington Post highlighted emerging health care issues, stating that District of Columbia ranks last in timely access.
Essential tip: If it’s a newspaper story, then it doesn’t need to be described as an article. ‘When it comes to’ is superfluous; replace with ‘in.’
Many writers starting a career in content marketing are dependent on the actual word “location” to describe places. This is, however, redundant. It will make the PR effort much easier if this is applied:
A. Apple Inc., which is located (or based or headquartered) in Cupertino, will be introducing a new iPhone this fall.
B. Cupertino’s Apple Inc.
Or as simple as:
A. My friend would like to find a good hotel located in Paris.
B. My friend would like to find a good Paris hotel.
All of the examples reduce words and increase clarity.
This applies to dates also. Take a look at this sentence:
Original and edit
A. Relations between Cuba and the U.S. have remained hostile since they were initially shatteredwith the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which eventually led to an embargo on imports from Cuba in 1960.32 words
B. Relations between Cuba and the U.S. have remained hostile since the 1959 Cuban Revolution initially shattered them; that led to the 1960 import embargo. 24 words
There are several points to consider
· The first is what is the sentence’s subject.
· As written, it’s as if it’s ‘between Cuba and the U.S.,’ which would of course require ‘has.’
· But it’s not; it’s relations, which requires ‘have.’
Then look at this pair:
· Since they were initially shattered with the Cuban Revolution in 1959
o Since the 1959 Cuban Revolution initially shattered them
Let’s look then at dates. If you start to write a phrase with a date, see if the date can modify the subject it covers. Both dates can be moved.
A. With the Cuban Revolution in 1959
B. With the 1959 Cuban Revolution…
A. On imports from Cuba in 1960
B. That led to the 1960 Cuban import embargo (as a semi-colon clause).
Try these tools for PR professionals and correct these sentences:
The performance will take place onWednesday, June 17 at 10 a.m.in the Moos Gallery located at 622 Richmond Street West.
The performance will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 10 a.m. in the Moos Gallery, 622 Richmond Street West.
A. He lives in an old home located on Main Street.
B. He lives in an old Main Street home.
On July 15 at 11:00 a.m, famous comedian Mindy Kaling will be on location at Indigo for a press conference about her upcoming novel, “Why Not Me?”
On July 15 at 11:00 a.m, famous comedian Mindy Kaling will hold a press conference at Indigo to discuss her upcoming novel, “Why Not Me?”