Getting to the heart of public relations

SOMETIMES, all it needs is a glamorous figure to boost the image of a profession!  

That certainly seems to be the case with public relations (PR) as the number of students who signed up for the programme at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) rose dramatically, thanks to actress Samantha Jones whose role as a public relations expert in HBO’s smash-hit TV series Sex and the City seems to have given the profession a much-needed boost. 

Recently however, students keen to take up PR got a reality check when they found that PR required more than just a pleasant appearance and a sweet voice.  

Perception Management Sdn Bhd's founder and chief executive officer Milicent Danker said: “Writing is at the heart of all public relations. 

Danker was giving a talk entitled Introduction to Public Relations Writing

“Public relations requires one to write clearly, effectively and for a variety of purposes,” she added. 

Organised by the Arts and Social Science Faculty, the four-module course introduced students to the variety of tools that a PR writer uses.  

“The modules not only help students improve their writing skills and correct common mistakes in public relations writing but also gives them an idea of what employers expect in public relations printed material,” said lecturer Catherine Lee.  

The course also provided Utar undergraduates with a comprehensive understanding of the principles involved in the use of the four public relations writing tools – news releases, newsletters, speeches and annual reports.  

“Having great ideas is one thing but knowing how to present them to your audience is another matter,” said Danker.  

“When in doubt, always keep your sentences short and simple. Present your work using a lively style. Use short sentences and attractive headlines,” she added.  

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