November 21, 2017 All, Writing in English
A cheat note for PR specialists: how to make official requests not so official
Ever wondered how to find the right tone of voice for your PR request? Our cheat sheet will help your business letter sound friendly and catchy. No more long letters and formal clichés!
Clichéd stylings such as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To whom it may concern” are out-of-date. Using clichés shows you made no effort to research even the name of your recipient. Such an attitude discourages Sir or Madam to go ahead and read your main message. And here you are – with no chance to get even a small reply.
Do your homework and find the recipient’s name, job title, and contact info. Tools for this task – corporate website, LinkedIn, and email aggregators (justreachout.io, rocketreach.co, helpareporter.com).
After the investigation part is completed, proceed to the warm introduction. Show how your request links the recipient’s interests. Trying to pitch a journalist? Mention the latest topics he covered, name the most interesting articles and explain why your project/company is relevant to his field of expertise.
The less, the better, so get straight to the point. Write in simple words and construct your sentences consistently. When finished, check your message for elaborate words that can be replaced with simpler synonyms.
Quick example: use end instead of terminate, begin instead of initiate. Formal words make your text longer and more difficult to digest.
A friendly tone of voice will also help you to sound less formal. Use inviting language, positive phrasing, and be proactive – offer different ways to comply with your request.
At the end of the letter, avoid multiple media buttons and a huge company logo. Clichés such as “I look forward to hearing from you” also won’t work well. Add a short CTA (“Let me know what you think”) and offer your phone number or email address. If your request was catchy enough, you’ll get a call back for further discussion.
Now, you know how to balance formal and relaxed while writing a PR request. With these 3 steps, don’t forget to follow the most important rule – have perfect grammar. Otherwise, spelling mistakes and awkward structure might ruin your professional reputation. Check your e-mails twice, or better – show them to a professional proofreader.
The Writesaver team will polish your message and make sure you sound intelligent and native, even to the most demanding recipient.