Strategies & Tactics

Writer’s Guidelines

PRSA produces a variety of content for PR professionals, including in the monthly publication Strategies & Tactics and its online versions.

Strategies & Tactics will help you stay up-to-date with the latest news, best practices and how-to information about everything from employee communications to crisis management to social media. The monthly newspaper also provides feature-length commentary on the strategic importance of public relations as well as case studies and views on changing concepts in communications.

Our goal is to provide lifelong learning to help you improve your job skills, stay competitive and advance your career.

We’re interested in articles that:

  • Explain new trends in public relations
  • Discuss new technologies that are changing the way that professionals practice public relations
  • Interview exceptional communications practitioners
  • Convey timely news analysis of issues impacting the profession
  • Analyze case studies of successful PR campaigns with measurable outcomes
  • Reflect the growth and change in crucial areas of professional development in the form of how-to pieces

Key elements for Strategies & Tactics submissions:

All columns must be written in a lively, easy-to-read format. For the how-to angle, topics should focus on how professionals can best execute a tactical skill. Place emphasis on the steps required to successfully complete a typical PR task. Articles may relate to real-life events — with anecdotes and examples that place the advice in a meaningful context. Contributors may interject their personal opinions based on professional experiences and expertise. The length of articles can vary from 600-1,200 words, but the editorial team will decide the final word count.

In addition, Strategies & Tactics seeks articles of specific relevance to senior-level professionals and executives, including case studies. Pieces should relate to real-life events, with anecdotes and examples showing how the topic has a measurable impact on the achievement of strategic organizational goals. The length of these articles is usually 1,200–1,500 words.

Stylistic writing guidelines for all columns/articles:

  • Write in active voice. This will make your writing clear, succinct and more colorful. (Don’t say: “There was a presentation given by Matt.” Say: “Matt gave a presentation.”)
  • Use strong, active verbs and vivid descriptors. (Don’t say something is “good” or “nice,” but describe with details.)
  • Vary your word choice and use synonyms whenever possible.
  • Vary your sentence structure. Provide a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences.
  • Rather than settle for clichés and tired phrases, seek original images and descriptive adjectives. (Don’t say: “He has cold feet.” Say: “He is timid.”)
  • Don’t use blocks of quotes. Instead, weave them into a narrative and place them in context.
  • Organize your thoughts — and use subheadings or section breaks if you need help. Put things together that go together, transition smoothly from one idea to the next, and don’t jump back and forth between thoughts.
  • Don’t assume that the reader knows everything. Clearly explain or identify anything that may not be common knowledge.
  • Attribute all quotes and sources and always identify the speaker properly.
  • Make sure that references are clear. (If you write “it,” then make sure that the audience will understand what “it” refers to.)
  • Be aware of agreement. (Refer to a company as “it,” not “they,” because “company” does not take the plural form.)
  • Keep your audience in mind when writing. Remember who your readers are — and that you are trying to make communications pros better, smarter and more connected through all stages of their career.
  • Provide the proper name of the survey, who conducted it and the release date when you cite a survey or statistics.
  • Include the year of publication and the publisher when your reference a book.
  • Try to write in a conversational tone, but remember to be professional too.
  • Use parallel structure in your writing. When you use bullet points or list items in a series, construct phrases similarly. (If you are listing tasks, then don’t say: “playing tennis, exercise, coloring.” Say: “playing tennis, exercising, coloring.”

A final word:

  • StyleStrategies & Tactics always follows AP style.
  • Accuracy — We rely on authors to ensure the veracity of their statements. The writer must double-check names, confirm spellings, provide accurate job titles and include institutions responsible for, and dates of, any research cited in columns.
  • Editorial prerogative — The editors reserve the right to edit stories for content and style.
  • Exclusivity — We assume that any article submitted to Strategies & Tactics is offered exclusively and that substantially similar articles will not be published elsewhere simultaneously without our knowledge.
  • Bios — Include biographical information for the author (nearly 30 to 40 words) at the end of columns, along with a high-resolution headshot (300 dpi or greater).
  • Format — Please submit all articles via email, attached as a Word document.

*In order to maintain a high standard of journalistic integrity, the following points of policy shall guide Strategies & Tactics editors in their decision-making about contributed editorial content:

  • Submitting an article does not guarantee its publication.
  • The editor-in-chief reserves the right to exercise absolute discretion when selecting articles for publication.
  • Due to the high volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee a response to all queries. An editorial team member will likely respond within a week of submission.

Copyright Information:

  • The contributor conveys all rights, title and interest, including any statutory copyright together with the right to secure renewals and extensions of such copyright throughout the world to Strategies & Tactics. Copyright includes publication of article at www.prsa.org.
  • The contributor warrants that this work is original except for such excerpts from copyrighted works as may be included either with the written permission of the copyright owners or as “fair use” under the Copyright Act, and that the work does not invade the privacy or rights of publicity of any person or organization.
  • With our permission, the contributor may reprint an article in print form and online for educational purposes and must add the following language to the document (date and publication title subject to change): Copyright © 2018 by Strategies & Tactics. Reprinted with permission from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA.org).

Editorial Staff

John Elsasser
Editor-in-Chief
john.elsasser@prsa.org

Amy Jacques
Managing Editor
amy.jacques@prsa.org

Dean Essner
Editorial Assistant
dean.essner@prsa.org