The PAS Formula for PR Writers

Saving the solution for the end is fine, adding filler content isn't.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

The PAS for­mula is a help­ful script for PR writers.

The PAS for­mula is simple: start with the prob­lem, move on to agit­ate, and then offer a solu­tion. It can serve as a help­ful tool for stressed PR writers.

Here we go:

The PAS Formula

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The PAS Formula

The PAS for­mula is simple: start with the prob­lem, move on to agit­ate, and then offer a solu­tion. It can serve as a help­ful tool for stressed PR writers.

The PAS formula:

  • Problem: Outline your read­er­’s pain point.
  • Agitate: Amplify and drive home the pain point.
  • Solve: Offer an action­able solution.

Learn more: The PAS Formula for PR Writers

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Use the PAS Formula Sparingly

We all hate read­ing unne­ces­sary text to get to whatever solu­tion we want. “Get to the point already,” we think to ourselves. 

Wading waist-deep through anec­dotes, ana­lo­gies, con­text, and dis­claim­ers is tiring.

Getting to the point some­times seems to be a lost art.

It’s the PAS-ific­a­tion of con­tent mar­ket­ing, it seems. PAS is a widely pop­u­lar acronym for writ­ing con­tent—Pain-Agitate-Solve.

We make a point of delay­ing the solu­tion to ensure read­er engage­ment. According to the­ory and online ana­lyt­ics, this seems to be the right path.

The first third of the con­tent con­nects via a shared pain point.
The second third of the con­tent amp­li­fies these mutu­al frus­tra­tions.
And the last third offers the solution.

Getting to the point” quickly isn’t without its own set of draw­backs, either.

Fun To Write = Fun To Read

I’ve col­lab­or­ated with many engin­eers through­out my PR career, and they typ­ic­ally get straight to the real solu­tion in their writ­ing. Presenting the solu­tion straight-up, without any fuss what­so­ever, can also make for rather dull reading.

Readers nev­er con­sciously ask for it but need stor­ies, ana­lo­gies, and context.

For me, this is a help­ful rule of thumb:

If it’s tedi­ous to write, it’s tedi­ous to read.

The straight­for­ward approach to delay­ing pre­ma­ture solu­tions is put­ting more energy into your writ­ten content’s first two-thirds.

Think about it: The solu­tion part could be trite and stale, but it still car­ries lots of value by being the actu­al answer to someone’s ques­tion. The ini­tial parts of your con­tent have no such value; there­fore, they need the most of your atten­tion.

Don’t just race through the PA part if you’re using PAS. Put your heart and soul into mak­ing these pas­sages worthy of your reader’s attention.

Make these parts fun to read by mak­ing them fun to write.

Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please con­sider shar­ing my pub­lic rela­tions blog with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. If you have ques­tions (or want to retain my PR ser­vices), please con­tact me at jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Free Writing PR Course

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has


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