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Write More Powerfully & Strategically for Public Relations and Public Affairs Purposes in Traditional Media & Social Media

presented by the PRSA-NCC Professional Development Committee
December 12, 2017 - 8:30am to 4:30pm

Online registration is now closed for this event.

Don Bates, APR, Fellow PRSA, New York University, is back by popular demand to teach his annual chapter workshop about how to improve your writing for PR/PA purposes in corporations, government agencies, membership associations, nonprofit causes, PR firms and other enterprises. This workshop will include new material, new exercises, new examples and a special feature.


Location Host:
Milken Institute School of Public Health – George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Room 700A
Washington, DC 20052

Cost: (does not include meals)
$175 PRSA & WWPR Members
$255 Nonmembers
$100 Students/retirees
$10 more at the door

Special Presentation: Writing as a PR/Social Media Maven (1:00-2:00 p..m)

Roy Abdo, Gallup’s Communications Lead and CEO of Digital Revamp Marketing, is a seasoned marketer, creative strategist, and storyteller. Directing social and digital communications design for media buying, advertising and messaging, Roy is a lead on Gallup’s worldwide communication efforts to promote analytics and strategic consulting. He is also an adjunct professor of marketing and business at Virginia International University.

Why you should attend:

  • This intensive all-day workshop will empower your writing and editing of news releases, pitches, blog posts and other PR/PA documents for print, broadcast and social media, as well as for other purposes.
  • Using how-to and why-to guidelines, you will look at ‘tried n’ true’ and ‘tried n’ new’ approaches for writing simple, direct, action-focused headlines, leads, quotes, captions, blogs, social media posts, other PR/PA forms.

What you’ll do to make it real:

  • Analyze “case” news release as primer on PR/PA writing challenges, good and bad.
  • Write big-picture headline, lead, quote, boilerplate, blog, other assignments.
  • Review AP-style essentials with cheat sheet, take AP usage quiz.
  • Ask questions, get answers, contribute, share, network, assist.

What you’ll also learn:

  • How to write for a bigger PR/PA payoff.
  • How to make your PR/PA writing more valuable to your employer or clients.
  • How to build your PR/PA writing leadership.

What you’ll take home at the end:

  • Instructor’s slides, writing guides, time-saver templates, how-to advisories, more.

What you’ll address during the day:

  • Applying best principles and practices of PR/PA writing.
  • Using “form follows function” as writing context.
  • Acting as word-worker first, wordsmith second.
  • Embodying strategic thinking in PR/PA writing.
  • Focusing on the action employers want.
  • Putting the Big Picture in PR/PA documents.
  • Providing what the media want so you get what you want.
  • Understanding what readers need to know for their purposes.
  • Becoming an outer-directed writer.
  • Hacking news and research to enhance your messages.
  • Pitching media with time-saving templates.
  • Using creative copywriting to engage social media.
  • Fashioning quotable (not gratuitous) quotes.
  • Killing pronoun inaccuracy and confusion.
  • Eliminating obstructionist prepositions, other disruptive verbiage.
  • Un-hyping hyperbole.
  • Taking renewed advantage of the 5W’s.
  • Connecting subject/verb/action to win the readability race.
  • Addressing trends and issues affecting PR/PA writing.
  • Getting approvals for your writing before and as you write.
  • Focusing writing time to increase productivity.
  • Adhering to AP Stylebook essentials.
  • Becoming a proactive writer even as you react.
  • Excelling at writing without being told or asked.
  • Writing better social media entries.


Consulting writer, trainer, editor
PR writing and management instructor, New York University
Founding Director, The George Washington University
PR Master’s Degree Program
PR agency M&A consultant

Don Bates, APR, Fellow PRSA, has been a top executive in national and international corporations, associations and agencies. He conducts writing workshops nationally and worldwide for corporations, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, associations, PR/PA agencies. Don teaches graduate public relations courses at New York University and is a senior advisor on PR agency management and M&A with Gould Partners. He operated The Bates Company, NY/DC-based PR and marketing firm, which he sold after 12 years in business. He is a member of the PRSA-NCC and PRSA-NY chapters, and an honorary trustee of the Institute for Public Relations, which he helped to establish.

Feedback from previous attendees:
Don is terrific, period. I’d be happy to have another program with him as presenter.  Senior Writer, National Treasury Employees Union

Don Bates brings prudent yet fresh insights to the profession, the practice and the joys of PR. You will come away from his workshop smarter and braver. Assistant Account Executive, GolinHarris

It was by far the most interesting and useful workshop that I have been to. Don is a great teacher. Freelance Environmental Writer

I especially enjoyed the section on pitching to the media and writing pitch letters because it allowed me to change for the better the way I approach media with my agency's news stories. Public Affairs Specialist, Defense Logistics Agency

I have utilized the template pitch -- created by Prof. Bates -- resulting in a substantial increase in callbacks and story placements. Our PR team uses this template as a blueprint for developing additional PR materials. Health Communications and Marketing Specialist, AED Center for Health Communication