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CAHSS professor writes public relations handbook

Targeted at students and PR practitioners

A new book from a CAHSS professor details how to write in public relations and for social media.

bookThe Public Relation Writer’s Handbook was written by Whitney Lehmann, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the CAHSS School of Communication, Media, and the Arts. Drawing on her background in journalism and public relations, Lehmann said she wanted to create an updated work for PR students, practitioners, and educators that covered digital/social media.

“I have taught Public Relations Writing since 2013 during my time as a doctoral student at the University of Miami. While I love the text that I previously used for the course, it was published in 2009,” Lehmann said.

LehmannLehmann said her journalism experience was valuable in learning how to write as a PR practitioner and how to best pitch stories to the media.

“Learning the fundamentals of journalistic writing, in my opinion, is key to understanding and succeeding at writing for public relations,” she said.

Lehmann’s book is divided by topic, with the media relations section covering how to create press releases, pitch stories, and create media kits. The storytelling section covers news and feature writing, interviewing and creating bio sketches. A digital media section outlines writing for emails, the internet, and social media. The remaining sections cover business/executive communications and writing for events.

Lehmann plans to use the book in her fall Public Relations Writing class, and said the book is under consideration for use at the University of Miami’s School of Communication, where she earned an M.A. in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Communication.

“I think it would be so cool to have my alma mater adopt the book,” Lehmann said.

Although social media is constantly evolving, Lehmann emphasized the importance of crafting content with a conversational tone that engages the needs/wants of the audience. Social media will be the focus of her next book, Let’s Get Social: Social Media Writing and Strategy. Outside of teaching and writing, Lehmann was named a finalist for the 2018 Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter. In 2019, the chapter named the Department of Writing and Communication as its Department of the Year for Lehmann’s work establishing and advising the NSU chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

For more information about NSU's B.A. in Communication, click here.

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