Employee Spotlight: Sara Shaughnessy, AAE

I’ve always been about coming up with a unique story and so writing, a passion of mine, came into my life at an early age. As a young child (think age 4 or 5) I would spend an unusual amount of time creating stories. Writing has always brought me a feeling of contentment, a place I could retreat to, and a place I could take my mind anywhere in the world.SCS Beginning with picture books with just a few words I soon graduated into writing longer, chapter-length books. In school, it quickly became clear I wanted to pursue writing in some way or another as I spent my days in math class doodling on the problems, drawing and brainstorming story ideas. This was ultimately why I attended Hamilton College, a small liberal arts school known for “teaching students to write effectively, learn from each other and think for themselves.”

So, after the days of college writing classes have come to a close (which I’ll admit I miss dearly), how do I satisfy my constant need to write and create in the world of PR and at Blanc & Otus? Luckily, this has proven a somewhat simple task: I’ve found it’s even easier in the world of PR, as there never seems to be a shortage of writing opportunities that tempt me to jump in and get involved. So if you’re reading this and you’re a writer, and are wondering how you use writing in PR, here are just a few ways I’ve found your imagination and writing skills can take you to new levels of success:

  1. Pitches to reporters: As someone who looked forward to those standardized tests in school when you had to pick a stance and write a persuasive essay (yes, I was weird and loved these), I find pitches an enjoyable aspect of PR as you can creatively persuade and generally be as artistic as you’d like to be.
  1. Press Releases: While much more formal, press releases require you to provide only the most pertinent information about the product/announcement, requiring you to write thoughtfully and minimize every unnecessary word. While this one is definitely more restrained, it offers a unique challenge that helps make you a more direct writer.
  1. Bylines & Blogs: While bylines typically come in the form of an assignment about a specific topic, writers have free reign to do whatever they want with the topic - again, encouraging originality. This is especially true with blog posts, which often prove much more casual and conversational, so if there’s something you have an itch to write about, just suggest it to the client and it’s usually given the green light.

So there you have it: those are just a few of the ways I find myself creatively inclined and able to let my passion for writing run free every day in the PR world. And of course, I’m still writing the occasional creative novel on the side ;)

Sara Shaughnessy