October Letter from the President

Dear IABC/SC Members,

The other day, I was joking with a veteran communicator about how it seems that many public relations professionals are hopped up on something. We came to the conclusion because we read something like this from businesses and organizations nearly every week:

“Company is excited to announce….”

You might ask, what’s wrong with that? Or, why is it bad for our profession?

First, it’s poor form. Professional writing should tell your audience about your news or information. It’s not about how it makes anyone feel. Secondly, professional communicators should not write things that are false.

I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking, that a new hire or new event is exciting and that I’m being pedantic. To those of you, pause for a moment and consider two videos showing actual excitement.

This baby girl heard a Katy Perry song.

These folks found out that Oprah Winfrey had just given them a new car.

That is what excitement looks like.  If, upon hearing what you are about to share, you or your boss reacted like any of these people , then by all means, write excited. If not, avoid the subjective language. Successful public relations strategy is rooted in fact and figures, not rhetorical half-truths.

Instead of the flowery words, dig deeper and explain to your audience why that new hire stood out and how he/she is going to make your business better. Or, tell us how that fundraising event going to count in your community. Certainly, that takes more time and effort — but, it’s worth it.

PS. October is Membership month. Learn about gift cards you can earn for referring peers. Also, tickets are now available for the Palmetto Awards on November 3rd as well as the Connect 2016 professional development event on November 4th.

Kevin N. Floyd | IABC/SC President, 2016