As far as communication-sending skills in man are concerned, writing and speaking skills are fundamental.
From the days of cave-drawing by the earliest civilization to those of the current digital revolution, man has always sought the ways and means to ‘talk’ via the written medium. (As the saying goes: the pen is mightier than the gun). Not relevant here.
Writing skills are the special abilities in man that enable him to state his desires, thoughts, and actions in written form. In writing, symbols are used to represent words and expressions. There are different methods of writing.
Knowledge of Writing System
The major writing system developed over several civilizations of man may be divided into limited writing systems (pictographic) and full writing systems (alphabetic)
Limited Writing System
Drawing is the major tool of the Limited Writing System (LWS). This could be in form of pictography or ideography.4
Pictograms are associated with the early stages of civilization. Cuneiform writing (developed by the Mesopotamians) and Hieroglyphic writing (by the Egyptians) are good illustrative examples of LWS.
In LWS, several images are chronologically presented. For example. To express the idea: An old man is leaving the house for the farm, three images may be needed: (1) house, (2) bearded adult male, facing the farm, and (3) farm.
Full Writing System (FWS)
A full writing system (FWS) makes use of the alphabet. Unlike a pictographic system. FWS conveys no meaning to the reader who does not know the underlying language.
For instance, there is no one-to-one correspondence between the English word ‘man’ and the concept, ‘human, adult, male’ that it represents.
New Discovering Barriers to Effective Writing
Writing is essentially an organized system. Therefore, any disorder is likely to jeopardize its efficacy.
Disrespect for established rules; misapplication of rules; bad writing habits; non-standardisation and resistance to change are some of the greatest barriers to effective writing.
Disrespect for established rules
Every standard writing system has its own rules. When these rules are disrespected, ensuring writing would not be effective.
If a writer decided to write in Arabic, starting from the right-hand side of the page to the left, he or she is likely to encounter problems similar to those likely to be encountered by someone writing in English from the right-hand side of the page to the left., just like someone walking backward.
Misapplication of rules
When orthographic rules are misapplied, effective writing is hindered. For example, the addition of ‘s’ to the singular form of several words in English transforms them into the plural form.
But the application of this rule to such words as sheep, furniture, aircraft, etc. will be inappropriate.
Bad writing habits
Habits are our usual ways of performing specific tasks. When one usually writes illegibly, illogically, or haphazardly, the text would not be optimally presented.
Illegibility blocks physical appeal, just as illogicality blurs a sensible train of thought. A text haphazardly written is likely to lead to a lot of confusion.
A non-standardized writing system is not capable of generating an optimal text. This is because non-standardization encourages inconsistency.
Resistance to change
Orthographies change over time. If a writer refuses to go along with approved changes, his or her writings may become isolated and consequently violate current norms.
Enhancing Effective Writing
Effective writing may be greatly enhanced by high levels of legibility, clarity, and the use of specific norms.
Legibility is a yardstick of text appeal. Whether handwritten, a text should be legible. A successful writer always aims at the highest level of legibility to be appealing.
The clarity of a text determines its acceptability. When a text is written in simple and logical language; it is easy to understand.
Use of specific norms
All orthographic make use of specific conventions, which its users are supposed to be conversant. It is, therefore, the responsibility of an effective writer to use such conventions appropriately. The use of abbreviations such as ‘e.g.’ (for example, ‘etc’ (et cetera) and so on) is commonplace in modern English writing.
What you should know about public relations
The extract is a good illustrative example of a piece of writing aimed at exploring the concept of public relations.
It kicks off with the role of public relations in politics and entertainment, presents the criteria for a successful public relations practice, and finally puts forward a state-of-the-art assessment of public relations.
Its layout, the orderly logical presentation of the ideas, and the clarity of the language are all worthy of note.
Public relations activities are a major part of the political process in many nations.
Politicians seeking office, government agencies seeking acceptance and cooperation, officials seeking support for their policies, and foreign governments seeking aid and allies abroad all make extensive use of services provided by public relations specialists.
Public relations also play an important role in the entertainment industry. The theatre, film, sports, restaurants, and individuals all use public relations services to enhance their image and thereby increase their business.
Other public relations clients are educational, social service, and charitable institutions, trade unions, religious groups, and professional societies.
The successful public relations practitioner is a specialist in communication arts and persuasion. His work involves various functions including the following:
(1) planning, that is, analyzing problems and opportunities, defining goals, determining the public to be reached, and proposing and formulating a campaign of activities.
(2) writing and editing materials such as press releases, speeches, stockholder, reports, product information, and employee publications
(3) placing information in the most advantageous way (4) organizing special events such as press functions, award programs, exhibits, and displays.
(5) setting up face-to-face communication, including the preparation and delivery of speeches. (6) providing research and evaluation using interviews, reference materials, and various survey techniques and
(7) managing resources by planning, budgeting, and recruiting and training staff to attain these objectives.
Specialized skills are required to handle public-opinion research, media relations, direct mail activities, institutional advertising, publications, film and video production, and special events.