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Tips from a Public Relations Professional: Simple Life Hacks to Improve Your Writing

December 13, 2016 Molly Garvey

Whether you work in public relations or not, I guarantee that you write more often than you realize. From text messages to emails to social media posts, writing is something each of us does every day. So it’s important we get it right.

To ensure your writing game is always on point, check out some of my favorite writing hacks:

Just Not Sorry

Writing the perfect email can be tricky. It’s hard to know how those on the other end will perceive your tone. And because you don’t want to come across sounding rude or pushy, you find yourself “fluffing” the email with unnecessary words that ultimately make us sound indecisive or weak.

“Sorry to bother you…”

“I just wanted to…”

“I’m not sure if…”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar?

If so, meet your new best friend: Just Not Sorry, a Chrome extension for Gmail that warns you against using those pesky words or phrases. The plug-in underlines each word or phrase in red so it’s easy to spot. When you hover over it with your mouse you’ll see a quote that explains how the word is usually perceived and why you should avoid it.

just-not-sorry-writing-hack

Source: Just Not Sorry

Hemingway App

Ever wish you could channel Hemingway and master his art of crafting strong, simple sentences? Now you can with the free Hemingway app.

Simply start writing in the app (using the write view) or upload your text from Word (using the edit view). The app will highlight common problems that get in the way of clear writing, such as:

  • Complex words or phrases
  • Long sentences
  • An excessive amount of adverbs
  • Use of the passive voice

In the public relations world, almost everything we do involves writing in some form. When you’ve been working on, and therefore looking at, a blog post or article for long enough, sometimes it can be difficult to pick out those long, run-on sentences. Do yourself a favor and run it through the Hemingway app before sending it on to your editor or client.

hemingway-app-writing-hack

Source: hemingwayapp.com

Writepls

There are thousands, probably millions, of articles out there with advice on how to write the perfect email or blog post. It’s impossible to find the best ones without spending hours sifting through pages and pages of Google results. Writepls is a website that makes finding them easier, selecting the best of the best and sending them straight to your inbox.

Browse articles like “How to Write a Professional Email that Gets a Response” and “How I write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies.” Your writing – and whoever is reading it – will thank you.

writepls-writing-hack

Email via Writepls

Grammarly

Another great resource is Grammarly, an online tool that proofreads your work. By downloading the Chrome extension on your computer, Grammarly will proof anything you write on the web. It checks for grammar, punctuation and style errors. Similar to Just Not Sorry, it underlines any mistakes it finds, which you can hover over to correct. It also gives you the option to upload your text to its platform for editing. In the platform, you can save and download your documents and add words to your personal dictionary so that they are no longer highlighted as mistakes (i.e. your client’s company if it’s a word that isn’t recognized by the dictionary).

grammarly-example-writing-hack

 

What hacks do you use to better your writing? Share them in the comments below.

photo credit: markus spiske neourban hipster office desktop via photopin (license)

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