Writing with Someone Else's Voice

Having graduated from Agnes Scott College in May with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, I wasn’t sure how my education would inform my Public Relations work. That is, I wasn’t sure until I received my first assignment. I had to learn the voices of two of our clients. What was their corporate tone? How did they present themselves to the world and how could I emulate that in my first press release? I remembered working with the poet Natasha Trethewey. She told my class when reading great writing we should break it down and figure out how it worked. This

breakdown could be as thorough as noun/verb/adjective, or as analytical as image followed by comparison. But the exercise remained the same: to really understand why the voice was effective, it was important to break it down. I looked at our previous press releases and a skeleton emerged. Suddenly it wasn’t a magician’s trick of becoming the person I was writing for, it was a puzzle I was taking apart so I could refit new information in a similar pattern and voice.

Public Relations has proved to be the perfect outlet post-Creative Writing and English because I work with the same principles that have guided my writing for the previous four years, but I’m able to flex those muscles in new ways. I can continue to work on my craft while teaching it new, more profitable tricks. I have enjoyed my time at Function:, a place where I can both contribute positively to the company and learn.

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