Since the beginning of my career in J-school, I have asked myself how I can become a better storyteller. As one who loves learning about all things PR, I am curious about new ways to present information that will be most effective and beneficial to those whom I address. Tom Gable, founder and CEO of Gable PR discusses some important writing techniques in a post titled Bulldog Reporter: Tips on Writing for the Web, New Media. In the post, several of the author’s peers gave advice about the future of good writing on Web 2.0 at a conference he attended. As a journalism student, I have been taught and reminded that accuracy, word choice and clarity are some of the fundamental ingredients in the perfect press release or pitch. The participants in the conference Gable attended stressed similar components, however, the one thing they emphasized and what I wish I had spent more time learning was the importance of writing with brevity.
Twitter has changed how people want resumes, status updates and popular trends dispersed. In our field, press releases and pitches will soon, if not already, be subjected to such constraints as 140 character limits or short spaces available on the Web. Never before would I have imagined that such brevity in my writing would be so important. I think that if we are capable of producing a valuable message in such a small space, then we will have produced effective storytelling characteristics.
One point that Gable’s PR company checks when writing about anything is ‘can the story be summarized in a compelling headline, Tweet or one or two-sentence sound bite or elevator pitch? If posted through social media, will it generate interest and action?’
I would say many projects, if written with creativity, could generate an interest and action in its audience. In the end, however, I ask myself, with such brevity how does an interested audience get the details?
Will the rest of our storytelling rely on links and Google?