Chapter 7 Reading Notes

July 1, 2010 at 3:29 am (PRCA 3330 Reading Notes)

          The seventh chapter in our Public Relations Writing & Media Techniques textbook is all about creating news features and op-ed. The beginning of this chapter specifies the difference between a news release, which emphasizes the timely disclosure of basic information about situations and events, and a feature story, which can provide additional background information, generate human interest, and create understanding and in a more imaginitive way. Basically, news releases utilize the skill of logic and feature writing requires more creativity.

          This chapter also says that feature writing is considered to be “soft news” rather than “hard news” and are not as time sensitive. They serve the purpose of entertaining, giving consumer tips, and additional background information. The text states that feature stories can come in a variety of types, but all of them have the potential to serve the purposes of:

  • Providining more information to the consumer
  • Giving background information and context about organizations
  • Providing behind-the-scenes perspectives
  • Giving a human dimension to situations and events
  • Generating publicity for standard products and services

          The next section in chapter seven deals with planning a news feature. Creative thinking plays an important role in feature writing. A public relations writer must think about how something lends itself to feature treatment. They must also determine if the information is newsworthy and interesting to a particular audience. It is also important to be sure that the feature helps achieve some organizational objectives.

          Before submitting an article to a magazine, some editors require that you give a proposal that outlines the entire feature and explains why it should be published in the magazine. The following points should be included in a proposal:

  • Tentative title of the article.
  • Subject and theme.
  • Significance. Why is the topic important? Why should readers know about it?
  • Major points.
  • Description of photos and graphics available.

          Chapter seven in our textbook provides many useful tips for a public relations professional to keep in mind while writing a feature story. I plan to use what I have learned from this text and apply it to my professional career in the future.


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