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When Erin Caldwell was a senior at Auburn University in Alabama she wanted to learn more about public relations, her major, than what she got from the classroom. So she launched a website called Forward-Moving that brings together PR novices with the salty veterans of the trade. The website was a hit, popular with students and young PR professionals who use it to gain practical, real-world advice on all sides of the business -- including writing for public relations. Which, naturally, is what we discussed with Erin, who now works at a major public relations firm in Washington, DC:

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Dog Eared

Books we love

Public Relations Writing

Want to write a better press release? PR professional Erin Caldwell suggests you read Public Relations Writing: The Essentials of Style and Format by Thomas H. Bivins. While they're not books, per se, Erin also recommends you listen to these podcasts: For Immediate Release and Inside PR.
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Press releases are an enormous hoax. They're written by people who pretend to be excited and received by people who pretend to be interested. It's time for a change.

In the bizarre love triangle between companies, PR firms and the media, nobody wins except the PR firms who get paid whether the press releases are read or not.

In my former life as full-time journalist I received (and ignored) thousands. I've seen editors scan through a hundred email press releases in five minutes and delete the lot. Before that, as a CEO, I paid tens of thousands of pounds for shiny press releases that got us no coverage whatsoever.

Expectations are low and cynicism is high. I think it's time to re-evaluate the whole concept and go back to basics.

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