Does your PR agency have the write stuff?

The ability to write well and develop appropriate content is a foundational skill set for PR professionals. And yet...

With surprising regularity, I meet potential clients who confess to spending valuable time iterating and heavily re-writing press releases provided by their agency or - worse - drafting their own content because it's "just not worth the hassle" of routing it through their PR account team. "By the time I've briefed them," they sigh wearily, "I may as well have written it myself."

Sound familiar?

Part of the problem may be due to a lack of seniority and experience fielded in your day-to-day account team, and some of it may simply come down to raw talent (or lack thereof). But, as a minimum level of service, your PR agency should be able to readily deliver:

✅ Polished, quality content that is appropriate for your audiences

✅ Right-first-time copy generated independently from minimal briefing

✅ Writing that you can proudly present to your customers and partners

Solid writing skills should be evident from Day One of your engagement with any new agency, and across all team members who will be actively creating content and materials intended to communicate your unique voice and values to key audiences. It's a core competence that underpins every effort to build value into your business - from pitching to key media to drafting CEO speeches.

While the emergence of the first generative AI tools could prove disruptive in the market for commoditised content, creative writing skills may ultimately become even more prized as companies turn to the unique flair of experienced writers to rise above a sea of commonplace copy.

Your communications programmes should be continuously working hard to articulate your differentiation, inspire engagement, and drive action. At the heart of that mission is the ability to tell a compelling story and take people with you on a narrative journey. Everyone writes, but not everyone can write.

Partnering with great writers really is the secret to outshining your competition - and to creating sustainable competitive advantage and long-term business success.

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