The Wilbert Group Blog

Posts tagged writing

Media Moves: May 2017

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We love getting – and sharing ­ the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally

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11Alive hired a new morning host. Cheryl Preheim, a former broadcast host at the NBC affiliate in Denver, Colorado, said she plans to embrace Atlanta and tell stories that connect with people.

Read more about her story here:

New 11Alive morning host embraces Atlanta

As video continues to evolve media companies hurry to adapt. See how companies like Time Inc. and Condé Nast are rethinking their format and distribution strategies to include video.

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As video evolves media companies try to adapt

The New York Times just named former Buisnessweek editor in chief, Ellen Pollack, to top editor of its business section.

Read more about this story:

Ellen Pollack named editor of The New York Times business section

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.58.01 AMAfter 15 years publishing print editions, Mental Floss magazine decided to go completely digital in 2017. Despite what you may think, the brand argues that shedding its print product opened many new doors.

Read more about this story:

Life after print for Mental Floss

After 40 years of making readers laugh, The New Yorker’s beloved cartoon artist, Bob Mankoff, retired at the end of last month.

Read more about his story:

Bob Mankoff will step down as The New Yorker magazine’s cartoon editor


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Five Ways to Turn Your Corporate Writing into a Bestseller

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by Nancy E. Johnson

Looking for ways to spice up your communications? It’s time to dust off your copies of To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter. Whether the scene of your story is Hogwarts or the executive boardroom of a financial services company, the storytelling toolkit of a novelist can help you wow your audience.

I attended an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) presentation on Power Writing. Graham Galt, head of communications for Invesco, provided tips on how to make our writing more persuasive and engaging. Here are a few ideas he shared that I plan to use to make my own PR writing a page-turner.

Graham Galt of Invesco shares tips for making corporate writing more engaging.

#1 Harness the power of a good metaphor. Use imaginative language and illustrations that paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  For example, if you want to convey the passage of time, you can say we fought two wars, 403 babies were born and 76 rows of crops were harvested. (This also shows another great rhetorical device known as the “rule of 3’s.”)

#2 Make interesting choices with language. Take your narrative from mundane to memorable. It’s easy to say “good luck” when you’re wishing someone well. But remember the unforgettable mandate from Star Wars: “May the force be with you.” Avoid clichés and find unique ways of saying things.

#3 Set up dramatic tension. In the best novels, the protagonist is on a quest to achieve something, but the antagonist stands in her way. That’s the tension that keeps readers breathless. Maybe your company is the protagonist fighting antagonists such as an economic downturn or flooding in Malaysia. Use that tension wisely to heighten the drama and stakes for your company or client.

#4 Focus on the big idea. In your favorite book, it’s the theme that drives the narrative. Maybe it’s good vs. evil or man vs. nature. Whether you’re writing a news release or an executive brief, find that overarching idea and make sure every piece of dialogue or narrative propels the story and that big idea.

#5 Make your audience think, feel and respond. Most companies have loads of data you can share with audiences. That’s the thinking part. But you want to connect on an emotional level through personal stories and “characters” who humanize the facts. Remember that people don’t respond to talking points and media briefs. So, don’t forget to engage the heart. Once your audience feels something through your writing, they’ll be more likely to act.

How to Land the Perfect PR Internship

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Leigh and M.C. in the Wilbert office.

by Caroline Wilbert 

I have been lucky enough to hire fantastic interns at The Wilbert Group, including current intern Leigh Taylor and intern-turned-account coordinator M.C. Rhodes. But for every winning applicant, at least 40 college students send me emails that I immediately trash. So, with that in mind, here are my top five tips for wannabe PR interns.

#1 Use correct grammar in your email. This sounds simple, but probably fewer than 10 percent of our intern applicants meet this basic requirement. Writing is a key skill for any public relations professional, so if you can’t send me a well-written email, there’s no way you can cut it at The Wilbert Group.

#2 Don’t call me Mrs. Wilbert. I grew up in the South, and I appreciate that your parents have drilled manners into you, such as calling adults “Mrs.” and “Mr.” and responding to questions with “yes ma’am” and “no sir.” But here’s the thing: I want to hire an adult who will contribute to my real-life business. You need to act like a grownup.

#3 Google is your friend. Again, this seems basic but hardly anyone does it. Google our firm, Google me, check out our Facebook page, Google our clients, follow us on Twitter. Do simple research so you can say something relevant in your email, as well as during potential follow-up meetings. That brings me to my next tip…

#4 Customize your approach. I recently heard from two advertising majors whose entire resumes and emails were about advertising experience. I run a PR firm. No matter what your experience, figure out a way to frame it for the specific opportunity.

#5 You are 22. You should be on Twitter. Social media is an increasingly important part of public relations. Write a blog, be active on Twitter, do something surprising on Pinterest. If a young person doesn’t have an interest in social media, that’s a red flag.

So if PR is your career goal, and my five tips seem do-able, shoot me an email. We are hiring interns for the summer!