In the world of Public Relations, when speed and accuracy are each as pressing as the other, agents have to make sure that everything they write is up to industry standard from the grammatical conventions to the meter and tone of the writing itself. For people who spend all day writing and rewriting, the process can induce fatigue, but luckily, there are some handy apps and websites that will help remove some of the stress.
Hemingway App: In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, simplify.” While academic English usually dictates convoluted sentence structures and deeply-nestled dependent clauses, the average American reader prefers middle-school mechanics and shorter clearer sentences to longer, more opaque ones. Hemingway app grades the “readability” of the text you input by analyzing sentence length, number of adverbs, passive voice usage, and a few other metrics. You can then edit within the app to lower the readability to a level you find acceptable. Especially in PR, where less is more and clarity is currency, Hemingway app could prove invaluable to spreading your message.
Grammarly: A staple of the writing world, grammarly analyzes spelling, grammar, usage, mechanics, and punctuation in real time both within its web app but also across your whole browser if its chrome extension is installed. The natural language processing program checks for upwards of 250 grammatical conventions and ensures that none of the typed text is plagiarized from across the web.
Take a Five: Writing can wreak havoc on your phalanges and be cognitively exhausting, so it’s important to take regular breaks to let your mind and fingers rest. Take a Five will allow you to visit a social media website like facebook, tumblr, or buzzfeed, but after a set amount of time, the tab will close automatically. That way, you can enjoy some cranial down-time without worrying about an hour slipping away from you.
Visuwords: If you ever get stuck looking for a synonym, antonym, or familial word, try a word web via Visuwords. Users can enter a word or phrase and the program populates an interactive plot of similar words, various meanings, and opposites color-coded based on their relationship to the original word. Double-click on another word in the web and another web of words will branch off ad infinitum. If you’re a visual learner grasping at straws for the right word, visuwords will certainly come in handy.
Text to Speech Reader: One of the oldest tricks in the book is to read your copy out loud and listen for how it sounds when the words come off the page. Apps like the text to speech reader will do the reading for you, so you can sit back and listen to the meter and flow of your writing after each iteration of your drafts.