Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Nation of Writers

It is commonly accepted among public relations professionals that the internet is a once-in-a-lifetime gift to the profession. But generally we think of that gift as an amazing new communications channel that enables us to reach millions of consumers, a select number of micro-communities or focus in on genuine one-to-one marketing.

However, the internet also has been a rocket in another sense for the communications business: more people are writing than ever before – at least that is my perception, with 133 million blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002, as just one indicator.

In the world of communications, advanced writing skills are a fundamental requirement for effective advocacy. And the internet serves as both a training ground and a platform for advanced writing education. Whether blogging, tweeting, updating Wikis, texting, emailing, posting comments or whatever, the internet requires people to put words down, even if it is in online shorthand, to express themselves, and the numbers of people doing so is beyond anything ever anticipated.

We in business know how important it is to be articulate. As more and more young people grow up writing as naturally as they grow up talking, the pool of effective writers from which the public relations business has to choose will only grow. Professor Andrea Lunsford of Stanford University points out that of all the writing Stanford students did, 38% of it took place outside the classroom – “life writing,” as she calls it, according to a recent post by Clive Thompson on (via Neatorama).

This is a paradigm shift unlike any others. Before the internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything that wasn’t a school assignment. Consequently, the pool of those who wish to write professionally should expand exponentially. This is not only a gift for our profession, but a gift to the world, as effective communications is at the heart of everything…from profitable business to world peace.

Technorati Tags: Professor Andrea Lunsford, Stanford University, Clive Thompson,emailing, texting, tweeting, Technorati, blogs, communications, internet, public relations, Makovsky


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read this article. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009 8:04:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home