Here are six sure-fire ways to liven up your PR copy and keep your reader engaged. Even better, not a single writing suggestion mentions the words grammar, spelling or punctuation!
Tip 1) Use resonant flesh-and-blood characters rather than boring old nouns. If I was writing a memo about sales, my characters would be clients and customers, rather than projections and results.
Tip 2) Use action words that propel your readers along. We love to see verbs that power us visually from one place to another, rather than just sit there.
Tip 3) Perform the 8-word test. Keep your characters and actions within 8 words of each other, so your reader can easily follow who is doing what. The fewer words between the nouns and verbs the better.
Tip 4) Link complex sentences and phrases with connectors to help your reader navigate through the text. Good connecter words, for example, are however, because of this, therefore, thus, and so on.
Tip 5) Lead your readers from old information (first) to new information (second). Establish common ground in your message development, gently nudging your audience from comfortable familiar territory into the strange and new.
Tip 6) Use the Problem-Solution-Action paradigm. One of the most common writing complaints I hear from my students is they don't know where to begin. If you start with a problem statement, followed by a solution proposal, and wrapped it up with an action plan, a memo can write itself!