PR Writing – Elearning course

Our PR Writing elearning course gives you everything you need to know about public relations writing.

How to write press releases that will get you noticed; a press release writing checklist; effective PR emails; case studies, contributed articles and features; PR profiles and social media PR - all wrapped up in one interactive online training course.

Both print and online writing skills are covered and you have the option of getting one-to-one feedback on your PR writing from our expert tutor.


This course is great for anyone who wants to gain PR exposure, coverage and a higher profile for themselves, their organisation, business or local event; or for PR executives working on behalf of clients.

The course comes in 3 parts:

Part 1: The objective of PR writing; the POWER method; who your readers are

Part 2: Press releases

Part 3: Emails, case studies, contributed articles, social media

You will learn:
  • How to plan and target your public relations writing
  • The POWER © method for foolproof PR writing
  • The secrets of an effective press release
  • The information to include, and how to present facts and figures
  • How to profile your target readers and online audience
  • The questions you need to answer in your PR messages
  • About profiles and why you should focus on them
  • How to manage and present your experts or PR spokesperson
  • How to use PR emails to maximise the impact of your message
  • Why journalists and reviewers love case studies
  • How to create a PR targeted feature or contributed article
  • The best ways to manage and exploit social media for PR value

...and much more.

PR writing is an ideal companion to our Top 20 grammar mistakes and how to fix them and Proofreading courses if you need more of the basics. Once you've done the PR writing course, you might also want to go further into Writing for the web, Feature writing or Blogging.

If you sat down and did the course in one sitting, it would take approximately 2-3 hours to complete. However, the exercises and quizzes we include mean it can take longer. You can work at your own pace, and dip in and out of the course as often as you want, and go back to sections to really make sure you've understood. If you have any queries at all, you are very welcome to get in touch with the trainer as often as you want.

We set a 4 week deadline from the point you receive your enrolment information.  If you need longer though, you just need to let us know. The course covers:

The objective of all PR writing
  • Getting coverage
  • Directly by publishing your words
  • Indirectly by influencing journalists and editors
Common to all PR writing
  • Writing clearly
  • Putting your main point at the top
  • Being aware of your readers
  • Being aware of the media: on paper, online, on radio, on TV
  • Proving your argument
The POWER © method explained
  • Plan - cause, audience, key words, angles
  • Organise - into a pyramid from top to bottom
  • Write - simple sentences, strong paragraphs
  • Evaluate - structure right then language right
  • Rewrite - implement the changes
Who your readers are
  • Gatekeepers to the wider world of readers/visitors/listeners/viewers
  • Very critical readers
  • Overwhelmed and often dependent on PR sources
  • Not well organised
  • Want to write/present a story quickly
What your readers want
  • Exclusivity
  • Instant expertise
  • Deadline driven
  • New trends and issues
The questions your readers will ask
  • Who? The players
  • What? The actions
  • When? The timings
  • Why? The reasons
  • How? The methods
  • Where? The locations
  • So what? The significance
Your "objective" readers
  • Journalists and the myth of objectivity
  • Seeing your writing as partisan or biased
  • The need for evidence and other voices
Press releases
  • The purpose of the press release
  • Winning coverage
  • Keeping in the eye of journalists
  • Prompting contact
  • Combating the noise of the competition
Your press release checklist
  • Strong hook and headline
  • Explanation in the standfirst
  • Grab in the intro
  • Keep the pace going with characters and colour
  • Give the essential background

What makes a poor release...

  • Developing your release from most to least important facts/events
  • Making each new topic a paragraph
  • Bringing speaking people into the release
  • Bringing the story on with colour and evidence
  • Using quotes to powerfully communicate benefits
  • Good and bad use of quotes

Applying the basics to all types of PR writing

  • What to use them for, ie media alerts, launches, surveys, etc
  • Making the subject line interesting and relevant for the reader
  • Making them personal, not generic
  • Expanding on the subject line
  • Giving some proof or a quote
  • Offering more for responders
Case studies
  • Reporting on user experiences to provide evidence or proof
  • Structure: Headline, Abstract, Body, Contacts
  • Don't just describe: show a real solution
Contributed articles
  • Fitting the style of the publication or website you're contributing to
  • Features: a longer analysis of developments
  • Opinion pieces: getting over an argument and giving proof points
  • Getting across the character of an organisation or person
  • Adding essential colour
Social media
  • Contributing to social media - the right form for the right media
  • Using each social media for what it does best
  • Blogs: for comment
  • Twitter: for alerts
  • Facebook: for small intimate groups
  • Linkedin: for connections
  • Wikipedia: for profiles of organisations, people and explaining terms

This course is packed with interactive exercises so you can practise what you learn as soon as you learn it.

There are handy tips and checklists at key stages of the course.  These cover vital topics including:

  • Changing the description of the company/organisation at the end of the release to include what it has done recently
  • Thinking of the email subject line as the headline
  • Rewarding the journalist who replies with more information which is exclusive to them

and many more.

Richard Sharpe, media law and editorial trainerRichard Sharpe is a trainer, journalist, researcher, and a director of ContentETC. As a journalist he has contributed to the Financial Times, The Herald Tribune, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Computing, Computer Weekly and other publications covering IT and its impact. Richard was a senior lecturer at the University of East London and an adjunct professor for the University of Southern California. Richard is a highly successful trainer, regularly training journalists and other content creators at publishing companies and corporations including Bauer, Haymarket and TiMedia and coaching executives at organisations including UCLU and LSE.

The beauty of e-learning is that you can do it at a time and place to suit you. But you won't be alone! Richard will talk you through the key points to improve your skills and knowledge, and at any time during your e-learning course, you can email him with any queries or comments.

Richard can also give you invaluable one-to-one feedback on your own work. If you buy the trainer feedback option with your course, email your work to him after you have completed the e-learning and he will supply you with individual guidance, comments and practical suggestions. Then, once you've improved your work, he will review your revised content and provide a second set of comments. This unique feedback really brings your e-learning to life and makes sure you have truly grasped - and applied - all of the key principles.

If you would like to receive a Certificate when you have completed your e-learning course, please just let us know and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.

PR Writing is £19.99 + tax per user * which gives you full unlimited access to the course for one month. If you need longer though, you just need to let us know.

If you want to add personal one-to-one trainer feedback to the course, the price is £69.99 + tax.

Discounted rates are available for multiple users. The discount applies to this course or a mix of e-learning courses. We will give you an immediate 10% discount off your second course if you book with us again.

I found the course very useful and have been using what I learned on a day to day basis when writing press releases for the town council.

Community services officer, Newbury Town Council