The PR BlogCreativityStorytelling & WritingThe PAS Formula for PR Writers

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 use­ful script for PR writers.

The PAS for­mula is simple: start with the prob­lem, move on to agit­ate, and then offer a solution.

Here we go:

The PAS Formula

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The PAS Formula

The PAS for­mula makes it easy to struc­ture your PR writ­ing:

  • 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.

Please sup­port my PR blog by shar­ing it with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Drafting

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Communication Skill: Drafting

Drafting, cre­at­ing, and refin­ing writ­ten doc­u­ments are fun­da­ment­al com­mu­nic­a­tion skills cru­cial in every­day life. From com­pos­ing emails and writ­ing reports to craft­ing per­son­al let­ters or social media posts, the abil­ity to draft and edit doc­u­ments ensures clar­ity, coher­ence, and effect­ive­ness in con­vey­ing messages. 

The first draft of any­thing is shit.”
— Ernest Hemingway

Many indi­vidu­als struggle with writ­ing not because they lack ideas but because they under­es­tim­ate the power of revi­sion. The ini­tial draft is rarely per­fect; it’s through revis­ing this draft — trans­form­ing it into a second, third, or even fourth draft — that one hones the mes­sage, sharpens the lan­guage, and strengthens the over­all communication. 

Developing a habit of draft­ing and edit­ing allows for explor­ing ideas, refin­ing thought, and elim­in­at­ing ambi­gu­ity, mak­ing the final product more impact­ful and under­stood by its inten­ded audi­ence.

To become bet­ter at draft­ing, con­sider these five tips:

  • Embrace the pro­cess. Accept that draft­ing is a pro­cess that involves writ­ing, revis­it­ing, and revis­ing. Your first draft is just the begin­ning, not the end product.
  • Separate writ­ing from edit­ing. Allow your­self to write freely in the ini­tial draft without wor­ry­ing about per­fec­tion. Focus on get­ting your ideas down, then shift to edit­ing mode to refine your work.
  • Read aloud. Reading your draft aloud can help you catch errors, awk­ward phras­ing, and unclear areas. This prac­tice can also improve the rhythm and flow of your writing.
  • Seek feed­back. Don’t hes­it­ate to share your drafts with oth­ers. Feedback can provide new per­spect­ives and insights that you might have overlooked.
  • Use tools wisely. Use writ­ing and edit­ing tools (such as large lan­guage mod­els, gram­mar check­ers, or style guides) to help identi­fy areas for improve­ment. However, always apply your judg­ment to ensure sug­ges­tions align with your inten­ded mes­sage and voice.

Incorporating these strategies into your writ­ing routine can elev­ate your draft­ing skills, lead­ing to clear­er, more com­pel­ling, and more effect­ive writ­ten com­mu­nic­a­tion in every aspect of your life.

Learn more: Communication Skills (That Everyone Should Learn)

💡 Subscribe and get a free ebook on how to get bet­ter PR ideas.

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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