Gaining Writing Experience

With finals wrapping up for most of us, the semester break is a great time to gain writing experience. Below I’ve listed several opportunities to contribute your work and in turn, gain a sample for your portfolio. Your portfolio should have different writing samples, so consider writing for a variety of these outlets.

  • FORUM. If you’re looking to write about public relations, professional development or career advice, check out PRSSA’s national publication, FORUM. It is distributed to the Society’s 10,000 members three times each year and is a addition to your portfolio. Contact Patrick Hernandez, editor in chief of FORUM, if you would like to contribute.
  • Platform. Platform is an online magazine published by University of Alabama students and professors, though they are always seeking guest writers. Topics covered include the industry trends, ethics, leadership and careers. If you’re interested in writing for Platform, check out the contributing writers page for details.
  • Your Chapter’s Newsletter. If you haven’t already done so, contribute to your Chapter’s newsletter. If your Chapter does not have a newsletter, start one It doesn’t even have to be a formal publication; it can even be an e-mail newsletter or a biweekly flier. By creating this resource for your members, you will gain both leadership experience and writing samples for your portfolio.
  • A PRSA Chapter Newsletter. Your PRSA Chapter might also offer the opportunity for guest contributions to its newsletter or Web site. Find a contact from the Chapter’s Web site and pitch that person on you’re topic and how it will help PRSA members. Consider your audience and write about a subject relevant for the readers.
  • Start a Blog. If you’ve been debating whether to create a blog, make the commitment and launch it. Blogging has so many benefits, including enhancing your writing and editing skills, helping you learn online tools, expanding your network and building a strong online presence. For tips on how to start a blog, check out what PRSA member Gini Dietrich says here.
  • Post on Another’s Blog. While blogging might not be for you, you can still write a guest post on a blog you read and respect. Find the blog manager’s contact information and send a concise pitch describing what you can add and the topic you’d like to address. We’re always looking for guest bloggers here – feel free to send me an e-mail pitch.
  • PRSSA Scholarship Applications. It’s never too early to star working on PRSSA scholarship applications and many require an essay. By spending time to create a high quality essay and application, you improve your chances of winning.

In addition to writing, check out AP Style resources from Platform Magazine and Newsroom 101. Both let users test their knowledge of AP Style, which is an essential for future public relations practitioners.

How else can you improve your writing over break? Are there any other outlets that would be good additions to a portfolio?

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One Response to Gaining Writing Experience

  1. Gini Dietrich December 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    As always, great content for your members! I love how you provide tips for them to improve their writing during the break in order to enhance their portfolios.

    The one thing I would add, especially for juniors and seniors, is use the social media channels to network with people inside the companies where you think you’d like to work someday. We always put the resumes of the people we know on the social networks at the top of the pile.

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