PR Writing
That Packs a Punch

Thursday, July 21, 2022 • 2-3:30 p.m. ET

How to write powerful press releases, pitches and posts

Tired of press releases that are KO’d instead of OK’d? Are more of your pitches swing-and-miss instead of direct hits? Want to quickly climb the ranks from PR writing lightweight to heavyweight champion?

This webinar on July 21 will give you the writing strategies you need to craft copy that packs a punch and wins audiences — media or the public — over every single time. Join this fast-paced session to quickly tune up your copywriting prowess and transform every piece of content you craft into a contender.

Your trainers Jill Stewart (DePaul University), self-described “Word Nerd” Kristin Graham (Ragan Consulting Group, Unlock the Brain), Michelle Park Lazette (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland) and Michelle Leff Mermelstein (Nokia) will help you improve your writing speed, stance and power using commonly overlooked principles — while sharing surprising new ways to re-energize your PR writing and results.

Top 6 things you’ll learn:

  • Write Like a Journalist: Powerful techniques for crafting credible-yet-compelling copy
  • Brain Science for Word Nerds: What research tells us about copy that captures attention in a busy world — and how to apply it to what you’re writing now
  • Secrets of Sticky Headlines: How to write dramatic headlines, subject lines, teasers and leads without resorting to “clickbait”
  • Irresistible Press Releases: How to avoid the press release graveyard by writing timely, targeted stories that sing — from headline to boilerplate
  • Pitch Perfect: A look at what journalists want now — and how to deliver smarter pitches that members of the press will love
  • Posts the Public Will Love: What content marketers know about powerful writing — and how to capture your audience’s attention by solving problems


  • Clear and Concise Technical Writing Guide
  • Why and How to Create an In-House Style Guide
  • Inclusive Language Checklist
  • Checklist: Apps and Tools to Help PR Writers
Register for this webinar to transform weak PR copy into powerful prose that packs a punch.


2-2:55 p.m. ET
When Your Audience is the Press: Craft Press Releases and Pitches Journalists Will Love

Writing doesn’t have to be such a gruelathon. Consider this your refresher course to help you get in the flow and be a PR copy heavyweight even when it seems things aren’t clicking. What you learn here will help you get your news and views out to the press — and the public. You’ll learn:

  • Principles of powerful newsroom writing: Overlooked building blocks of stronger copy — from mastering active voice practicing precise, punchy word choice
  • How to outline your press release and find the best news hook quickly (using clever tools like the “Chicken Test” and the I-D-E-A-S acronym)
  • Press release writing tips — from crafting catchier headlines to better boilerplates
  • PR pitch checklist: Tips for writing amazing email pitches (especially subject lines)
  • AP cheat sheet — a quick hit list of must-haves plus common errors to avoid
  • People-driven PR writing: Infographics, online newsroom and email newsletter storytelling examples and lessons from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Michelle Leff Mermelstein
Head of Public Relations, North America
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Writing Coach and Adjunct Faculty Member
DePaul University’s College of Communication
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Project Manager, Marketing Strategy
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
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2:55-3:25 p.m. ET
When Your Audience is the Public: Use Brain Science to Pen Attention-Grabbing Copy

If you’re not writing for the press, then you’re writing for the public. In the last part of this fast-paced webinar, we’ll discuss what recent research tells us about capturing attention today and how to apply what you’ve heard so far to your other PR outputs — from landing pages and tip sheets to blog posts and beyond. You’ll learn:

  • Brain science for word nerds: What research tells us about copy that captures attention in a busy, noisy world—and how to apply it to what you’re writing now
  • How to use the MINS and BLOT principles to write better, faster
  • Quick writing hacks—including how to write better emails and catch your own typos
  • How content marketing’s funnel and the inverted pyramid align — and differ
  • How to spark engagement in your posts with emotion, energy and creativity
  • Six simple steps to proof, polish and punch up your PR prose before hitting “publish”
Writing Coach and Adjunct Faculty Member
DePaul University’s College of Communication
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Culture and Employee Engagement Consultant
Ragan Consulting Group
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Project Manager, Marketing Strategy
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
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3:25-3:30 p.m. ET
Closing Q&A and Interactive Discussion

Get all your questions answered and hear parting writing tips from our PR scribes, scriveners and strategists.

We'll share the top takeaways as you prepare to implement these ideas for your organization.

Top reasons to attend this webinar

  • You'll listen to and interact with the nation’s top PR writing experts.
  • You’ll receive all presentations and handouts
  • You’ll get access to an on-demand recording of the event for six months
  • You’re guaranteed extensive, how-to instruction that you can use immediately
  • You can attend this immersive session without having to leave your desk


Jill Stewart

Writing Coach and Adjunct Faculty MemberDePaul University’s College of Communication

Jill Stewart is a writing coach and adjunct faculty member who  teaches “Communicating More Effectively” at DePaul University’s College of Communication. A communications consultant who specializes in coaching writing skills, she has managed StewComm Consulting and boutique PR firm Stewart Communications for more than 20 years. She has served on the board of Public Narrative (formerly Community Media Workshop) for 12 years and also is a past co-president of the Publicity Club of Chicago.

Michelle Park Lazette

Project Manager, Marketing StrategyFederal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Michelle Park Lazette is the project manager, marketing strategy for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, where her multimedia storytelling projects have earned multiple industry awards. She perviously served as senior writer at t he organization and spent nearly a decade as a journalist in newsrooms across the country, reporting on topics ranging from wildfires to business bankruptcies and bank mergers.

Kristin Graham

Culture and Employee Engagement ConsultantRagan Consulting Group

As a former journalist, Kristin Graham looks at the latest on brain science, psychology, and marketing to figure out how to be heard in a noisy world. For the last several years, Kristin led culture and communications at Amazon and helped launch resources that illuminate Amazon's unique culture. She also taught the Amazon narrative writing process to tens of thousands of employees worldwide. Kristin is now a consultant, trainer, and speaker on the topic of communications, productivity, and information science to corporations, universities, and online courses.

Find her online at kristingrahamcomms.comLinkedIn, or trying out the new Clubhouse app under @kristingraham.

Michelle Leff Mermelstein, APR

Head of Public Relations, North AmericaNokia

Michelle Leff Mermelstein, APR, is the head of public relations, North America at Nokia. An accomplished storyteller with 20+ years of experience as a communicator, she has a passion for strategically positioning product and service offerings to drive audience awareness. She’s also an adjunct lecturer for the Master’s Program in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University, as well as for the Master’s Program in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University. Prior to Nokia, she was director of customer and field communications at Adobe, head of LG Mobile Public Relations at LG Electronics USA, and a senior communications manager at T-Mobile and Sprint. She was also a senior account supervisor with Edelman Public Relations and an account supervisor with Fleishman Hillard.


Brian Pittman

Manager of Strategic Programming Ragan Training and PR Daily

Brian Pittman is a manager of strategic programming at Ragan Communications and the dean of Ragan Training. He’s also a regular contributor to PR Daily, where he interviews industry leaders to help readers improve their careers as communicators. A seasoned journalist and publisher, he’s the former editorial director for Bulldog Reporter, and Utah Business Magazine, among others. He’s also a digital marketer and content strategist with LA-area agencies, as well as an executive producer on multiple films and documentaries.


You should attend if you spend at least a quarter of your time in any of these areas:

Public Relations • Digital Marketing • Brand Storytelling • Content Marketing • Corporate Communications • Internal Communications • Executive Communications • Social Media Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Communications


Register now for PR Writing
That Packs a Punch:
Regular Rates
Registration $349
Ragan Insider Registration $299
Nonprofit Registration $275

Phone registrations and group pricing: For group orders please contact our customer service team at 800-878-5331 or


For questions related to event registrations, please contact:

Shallon Blackburn
Customer Service & Sales Manager

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please contact:

Hannah Lavelle and
Andrew Newton

For information on programming and speakers please contact:

Brian Pittman
Strategic Program Manager