Writing for Progressions
PRSSA's blog, Progressions, is a way for you to talk about professional issues, offer advice for other students and share resources. Contributing increases your social media profile and builds your portfolio.
Acceptable topics for submission include advice for internship and career success; discussions of current events and public relations issues; best Chapter practices for fundraising, recruiting and connecting with professionals; advice for planning meetings and events; or other topics that are relevant to public relations students.
Each post should either share advice and ideas that the reader can use, or analyze an issue that readers can respond to and discuss. All posts should end with a question that can begin a dialogue in the comments.
Note: PRSSA does not typically accept previously published material. The views and opinions expressed in Progressions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSSA.
Writing Guidelines for Submission
Blog copy should be more conversational than writing for a publication. However, basic journalistic principles still apply.
To maintain the high quality of Progressions, all writers are asked to adhere to the writing guidelines below and to have their article proofread by at least one adviser and Chapter member before submitting it to the editor in chief.
Submit your topic to firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the post to ease the writing and editing process for all parties.
General Post Guidelines
- Shoot for shorter, 300 – 500 word articles. Posts should attempt to fit in one screen length to avoid scrolling.
- Include a photo submission with traditional articles (See photo guidelines below).
- Be creative. Incorporate bulleted lists, infographics and other visual elements. Non-traditional formats such as photo essays, infographics, video blogs and podcasts are strongly encouraged.
- Make posts thought-provoking and spark a conversation. End each post by posing a question to readers.
- Include a 30-40 word biographical summary for yourself, which will appear at the head of the post if published.
- Follow the PRSSA Style Guide and AP Style.
Style and Voice
- Be professional and conversational in your tone. Stay clear and consistent. Show, don’t tell, your topic.
- Always write in an active voice, using strong, active verbs. (Don’t say: “There was a presentation given by Matt.” Say: “Matt gave a presentation.”)
Citations and Facts
- Ensure accuracy by double-checking names, confirming spelling, and including institutions responsible for, and dates of, any research or surveys cited in your article.
- Attribute all quotes and properly identify the speaker.
- When citing a survey or statistics, provide the proper name of the survey, who conducted it and the release date.
Grammar and Organization
- Stay organized and focused. Be creative with subheads, lists and visual elements.
- Vary sentence structure, providing a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences to avoid being redundant.
- Be aware of agreement. (Refer to a company as “it,” not “they,” because “company” does not take the plural form.)
Photo Submission Guidelines
It is requested all writers consider submitting a photo with your article. Photos may also be submitted by those who have not written an article for future use in the publication.
- Do not submit photos that appear blurry, out of focus or pixelated.
- Do not submit photos with low megapixels or low quality. Submitted photos should be taken at the highest or second highest quality for the camera's capabilities.
- Photos should have a good balance of light (not too little or too much).
- Be active! Get people and actions in the photos.
- Get close. Photos can be cropped, but quality will be lost.
- Try to use the Rule of Thirds for all photos.
- Stay within the regular formats of photos when submitting. JPEG images are preferred.
- Name the photo file in an understandable manner so it can be easily identified (ex. "PRSSA National Conference President’s Lunch.jpg”).
- ALWAYS include a caption. Photos without a caption will not be used. Captions should be written in an active voice and cover the 5 W’s & H. Please include the photo credit for the photographer.