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Innovation and Best Practice
for Business Success

Established 1967

Writing Skills for Public Relations

Writing Skills for Public Relations

Style and Technique for Mainstream and Social Media

John Foster


Communicate effectively in writing, both to avoid misunderstanding and to keep the attention of readers, whatever the message might be.

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About the book

Writing Skills for Public Relations is filled with helpful pointers and useful examples for public relations practitioners at all levels who need to make the best use of written communication. Covering both style and presentation, it addresses the dos and don'ts of English grammar, including jargon and clichés, as well as important legal considerations. Along with guidance on editing, policing house style, writing for the press, public speaking, pronunciation and good text design and layout, this fifth edition provides valuable advice on writing for online and social media. This is an essential hands-on practical guide for anyone earning a living through the written or spoken word.

Table Of Contents

    • Chapter - 00: Introduction;
    • Chapter - 01: The importance of style: an overview;
    • Chapter - 02: Trouble with plurals and possessives;
    • Chapter - 03: Making your mark;
    • Chapter - 04: Down with capitalism!;
    • Chapter - 05: Clichés, jargon and other worn words;
    • Chapter - 06: Is it easy to read?;
    • Chapter - 07: Headlines: making them work;
    • Chapter - 08: Dealing with figures and abbreviations;
    • Chapter - 09: Keep it short, simple – and plain;
    • Chapter - 10: Social media: the X-factor for PR;
    • Chapter - 11: Writing for the media;
    • Chapter - 12: Captions: how to handle them;
    • Chapter - 13: Why editing matters;
    • Chapter - 14: Skills and styles for the office;
    • Chapter - 15: Traps, snares and pitfalls;
    • Chapter - 16: Americanisms – the differences;
    • Chapter - 17: The spoken word: pronunciation pointers;
    • Chapter - 18: Principles of presentation;
    • Chapter - 19: Writing for the web;
    • Chapter - 20: Tone – the linchpin of reputation;
    • Chapter - 21: Now it’s annual report time;
    • Chapter - 22: Is it legal?;
    • Chapter - 23: Keep to the codes


John Foster's book is a 'how to' guide that gives solid grounding in the writing requirements of the PR business. It covers a lot of ground on a complex but rewarding subject.
Writing Magazine

Writing good English must be one of the most difficult jobs in the world... This book by John Foster gives invaluable advice, not only on the rules of English grammar, but on how to make the language come alive.
Professor Anne Gregory, Director, Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University

This book addresses the pitfalls that wind up editors, clients and PR managers alike.

A brilliantly comprehensive teach-yourself guide to making sure people will want to read or hear your written words. Foster covers print, website, broadcast, blog, Twitter, Facebook and public speaking with a sharp expertise gained from a lifetime in PR and journalism and a love of good, unpretentious English.
Robin Corry, UK Features.co.uk and former Fleet Street editor

...can be read with pleasure from cover-to-cover or dipped into for a refresher on a particular topic [...] As someone who has spent his career on both sides of the divide, Foster speaks with true authority.
The Writer Magazine

...covers enormous ground. Besides writing effectively, Foster tackles new media, such as social networks and the Internet, even public speaking. He also gives helpful tips on how to make language come alive [...] to learn more about communicating well, read the book.
Robert Harland, Philippine Rotary

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749465438
  • Edition: 5
  • Published: 3rd October 2012
  • Paperback
  • Dimensions: 234x156
  • 280 pages
  • Series: PR in Practice Series

About the Author

John Foster has a background in journalism and has held senior public relations posts with Pira International and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. He has written, edited and produced work ranging from house journals, books, posters and brochures to speeches and presentations. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, he was awarded the Institute's Stephen Tallents Medal for his 'contribution and commitment to the effective use of the written word'.

John Foster