Public relations, when done right, can have a lasting legacy. Just ask William Laughead. While you might not recognize Laughead’s name at first glance, there is no doubt that you are familiar with his creation—Paul Bunyan, a child so large it took five storks to deliver him and a whole herd of cows to keep him fed.
Beginning in 1914 and continuing for the next 20 years, Laughead, a PR man and advertising copy writer for the Red River Lumber Company, began publishing a series of illustrated books recounting stories about a larger-than-life man that were already being shared around logging camps throughout the United States.
Although the result of his efforts did not create immediate attention, the legend of Bunyan eventually caught on and resulted in a spike in business for the Red River Lumber Company.
While PR and advertising have definitely evolved over the years, the power of a great story and the ability to capture the media and public’s attention remains important.
We don’t often get to create our own characters in the PR business, but we do have the ability to craft copy that will engage our reader. Here are a few things to consider next time you are getting ready to draft a blog, press release, column, Facebook post, tweet, etc..
• Write with passion and have fun
• Know what time of day you are most creative
• Don’t agonize over being perfect. There is plenty of time to go back and edit.
• Use the right style and tone for the audience you are trying to reach
• Ask yourself, are people going to relate to this?
• Use action words that are going to propel your audience along
• Be compelling: Ask yourself, why am I writing this?
• Be brief