Chances are, if you are studying or practicing public relations, you are doing your fair share of writing. When I began studying PR, I had little to no confidence in my writing abilities. The high school I attended was proficient in academics, and writing was not excluded. I couldn’t get above a ‘B’ on any papers in a high school where ‘As’ were the only acceptable grade. 

Convinced I was an inept writer, when I took WRT 150 at GVSU, I was only hoping to pass. I remember anxiously waiting for final grades to come out to know if I would have to retake the dreadful class… I got a 4.0… something I was not prepared for, when it hit me. Maybe I’m not too bad, I thought, and since then I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery with writing. No matter what area of PR you end up in, writing will always be there. Now if you’re like me and struggle with believing in your ability, let’s fix that.

How can you become a more confident writer?

Get Creative

Although 15-page papers are the rite of passage for any PR program, there is so much more to writing than APA essays. The most growth in writing I experienced was when I began writing for my personal blog. I realized I had been writing like an academic robot with no tone, style, or personal voice. It wasn’t until I began writing as myself that I became proud of my work.

Proof & Revise

If you are a student or PR professional and you haven’t tried Grammarly, oh are you missing out. I can’t have my mom edit my writing anymore because I would take it too personally, but with Grammarly, there’s no personal connection. With the basic membership, you can take advantage of writing suggestions, word choice changes, sentence fluency fixes, and so much more. I run anything I am writing through Grammarly before submitting it.

Speak Your Truth

My most useful tool for my writing is my very own (and literal) voice. When you are writing, ideas can present themselves clearly on paper, but once you speak them into existence, you can hear flaws. If I stumble over my own words, it tells me something doesn’t click and I should rework the sentence. This is true for all work, whether or not it will be actually spoken.

Writing is a process. Don’t get discouraged if something you write is rejected; ask for any edits and get back at it. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect, or in this case… better than the first draft.

About the Author:

Payton is a Junior studying Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Digital Studies. She currently serves as the Vice President of Programming on the GVPRSSA Executive Board. This is her second year involved with PRSSA and her first year with GrandPR as a design associate. Payton hopes to work in-house for a Grand Rapids based company after she graduates. For fun, Payton loves going to the beach, collecting crystals, hosting bonfires and watching reruns of The Office and Criminal Minds.