Is it worthy?
I was thinking about a conversation I recently enjoyed: a colleague asked me what I enjoyed writing the most, features, case studies, releases, scripts, blogs etc. my first response: everything !
But it is the relish of the release that feeds several of my values in life: creativity, challenge and powerful communication .
There is no reason to write a press release except for having something worthy of news to tell.
The editor doesn’t want to fill space heshe wants to engage, captivate,educate or entertain readers. This is about relevance, and relevance is context specific. Someone reading a trade mag at their desk seeks a different meaning than the reader of the local free rag or the online news site. Whether its microlocal, educational or minute by minute, it’s your responsibilty as a writer to make it newsworthy.
It might take 2 hours to get the skeleton down. And this assumes the right probing questions have been put to the client? What, why, how, who etc … Kipling’s 6 honestserving men. The 250 to 350 words of a release require the most careful and loving crafting of all. Get the ‘mini what’ in the first paragraph, then plan the flow of paragraphs to tell and engage. One idea per para and one big idea.
remembering of course to weave in your client’s key messages, to enhance the story. Use the right quoted people to add the C factor: credibilty. Edit many times. And only then, sense check it for newsworthiness. What is new, appealing, educational, news about this? Will it capture, captivate and keep the readers’ attention?
Here are some tips for creating newsworthiness:
- is there a monetary value you can use?
- is there a big brand involved?
- are there hidden drivers and influencers behind this story that you can research?
think carefully and spend time to make it worth the editor’s AND the readers’ while.
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