On Wednesday, March 8, the Undergraduate Communications Association held a Writing Workshop led by Editorial Director Maya Eliahou, a second year Political Science and Media Studies major. The workshop highlighted three forms of writing used in communications: journalism, blogging and public relations. Tips and activities encouraged club members to improve their understanding of how tone, style and word choice are important factors considered in each field.
The presentation opened with the construction of journalism articles and the process of interviewing as an integral part of collecting information. We were introduced to article elements such as the lead, headline and nut graph, as well as how quotes reinforce a story.
A small group activity focused on lead-writing allowed us to look not only at the who, what, when, where, why and how of a situation, but also at how those elements aid in informing the reader of necessary information about an event.
The next lesson focused on the publishing, writing and branding features essential to blogging. After a blogger finds a site platform and chooses a domain name, we learned that they aim for relatability in their writing, making sure to market themselves in a way that is colorful and visually engaging. The blogging group activity emphasized this by challenging us to write using words related to the five senses.
The final section of the presentation walked us through the writing style of a public relations professional. This centered on using background information, pictures and quotes to write the article you want reported by journalists. We learned that the goal in public relations is to portray one’s client as positively as possible. Examples of actual press releases and an activity allowing us to write a press release of our own allowed us to practice how to select the information necessary to achieve that goal.
The UCA general members, committee interns and directors alike said they found the workshop both informative and enjoyable because they practiced skills relevant not only to journalism, blogging and public relations, but also to the communications field at large.