Virtual Workshop: Intensive Writing Workshop

02 Apr, 2021

December 7, 2021
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET

As business professionals we often wear many hats: promoter, defender, explainer and more. Without consistent practice and an ever-expanding toolkit, writers may find themselves falling short in their quest to advance their goals. Our writing workshop will teach you how to improve your prose and burnish your written communications credentials.

This program is eligible for 3 Elective credits toward the Certificate in PAC & Grassroots Management, 3 Elective credits toward the Certificate in Public Affairs Management and 3 Specialization credits toward the Certificate in Government Relations & Lobbying 


10:00 a.m.  The Principles of Audience and Message Development

Persuading and engaging audiences are key components for advocacy and public affairs professionals. But different messages work for different audiences, and finding the right message can be difficult. This session will cover:

  • Audience and message mapping
  • Strategies for creating an engaging and compelling narrative
  • Tactics for aligning your message with your audience and ensuring your message has a single-word equity: building your message around a single word
  • Message development and perfecting your organization’s public policy “elevator speech”
Jody Donohue

Jody Donohue
Communications Manager
Ceva Animal Health

11:00  a.m.  Writing Exercise

Our writing workshop expert will lead you through your first exercise based on message and headline development.

11:30 a.m.  Lunch and Work Break

12:30 p.m.  Methods of Political and Advocacy Writing

Public affairs professionals write frequently, but they are rarely trained as professional writers. This session will cover the tactical elements of successfully writing op-eds, blogs, testimonials and emails. Our workshop leader will discuss:

  • Strategies for clarity and brevity with your content
  • Properly structuring your argument to maximize effectiveness
  • Developing chapters, cliffhangers and connecting the dots with your writing
  • Applying rhetoric to ensure a strong start and a memorable finish

Nick DeSarno
Director of Digital and Policy Communications
Public Affairs Council

1:30 p.m.   Writing Exercise

Our writing workshop expert will lead you through your second exercise based on brevity and clarity.

1:45 p.m.   Break

2:00 p.m.  Writing to Influence Policymakers – Op-Eds and Other Persuasive Writing

What makes a successful op-ed, action alert or social media call to action? While public affairs professionals are constantly writing, they are rarely trained as professional writers. This session will delve into the structure and characteristics of successful persuasive pieces.

Join our communications expert for a session on:

  • Writing effective op-ed pitches
  • Crafting a compelling persuasive message
  • Understanding the elements and process of drafting a newsworthy op-ed or letter to the editor
  • Creating action alerts, or other persuasive message that drive action

David White
Keybridge Communications

3:00  p.m.  Adjourn

Post Workshop Writing Practice and Critique

After the workshop, attendees may send in short writing samples to receive a quick critique.

Event Location

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This program will be hosted in a secure virtual environment. 

*Participants joining the program virtually will receive an email one week beforehand with instructions for logging on to our web-based platform. On the platform, they will be able to listen and participate through any computer or internet-enabled device, see a video of the speakers, and ask questions and participate in the discussion via a chat box.


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Register Online

  • Members: $595
  • Non-Members: $799

Additional discounts may apply to this meeting. These discounts may include:

For multiple registrants: A discount will apply to the standard member/non-member rate for organizations that register two or more participants for the same meeting. The first registrant will pay full price, the second participant will receive a 10% discount and each additional registrant will receive a 15% discount. To register multiple participants, you may either register online or download the print and fax registration form.

Member discounts: Discounts for members are applied to all Public Affairs Council meetings.

Non-members: Join the Council today, and save by registering at the member rate and using the $200 new-member coupon you will receive. Contact our membership team for information about joining the Council.

Questions? Contact us at 202.787.5950.


Nick DeSarno
Director of Digital and Policy Communications
202.787.5971 | email