Chapter 7 and 8 reading notes

Chapter 7 reading notes

  • The Feature Story can provide additional background information, generate human interest, and create understanding in a more imaginative way.


  • Feature stories come in all sizes and shapes, but all of them have the potential to

                1) provide more information to the consumer

                2) give background information and context about organizations

                3) provide behind-the-scenes perspective

                4) give a human dimension to situations and events

                5) generate publicity for standard products and services

  • There are 3 things to keep in mind when coming up with a feature. First you have to conceptualize how something lends itself to feature treatment. Second, you have to determine if the information would be interesting to and useful for a particular audience. Third, you must be sure that the feature helps achieve organizational objectives


  • Case study is frequently used in product publicity. Case studies often tell how individual customers have benefited from a company’s product or service or how another organization has used the product or service to improve efficiency or profits.


  • Application story is similar to the case study. The major distinction is that the application story focuses primarily on how consumers can use a product or service in new and innovative ways.


  • Surveys and polls, as well as scientific studies, can provide opportunities for features. This is known as a research study


  • Backgrounders, personality profiles, and  historical pieces are also types


  • The formatting of a feature is similar to that of a news release. You should use the organization’s letterhead and give the standard information such as contacts, headlines, and datelines


  • There is a headline, Lead,  Body, summary, etc.


  • Op-Ed means “ opposite editorial page”. The purpose of op-ed articles is to present a variety of views on current news events, governmental policies, pending legislation, and social issues


  • The next best thing to an op-ed article is a published letter. They are generally shorter than op-ed pieces, and primarily focus on rebutting an editorial, clarifying information mentioned in a news story or column, or adding information that might not have been included in the original story.


Chapter 8 reading notes

  • Photos and graphics are important components of news releases and feature stores. They add interest and variety, and often explain things better than words alone
  • Studies have shown that more people “read” photographs than actual articles
  • It is important to use a skilled photographer with professional experience
  • All photos sent to the media need a caption
  • Photographs are not the only art form that you can use for publicity purposes. Charts, diagrams, renderings and models, maps, line drawings, and clip art are widely used
  • Digital technology makes it easy to edit, and distribute photos and other artwork
  • A public relations writer should be familiar with the elements of a good publicity photo: quality, subject matter, composition, action, scale, camera angle, lighting, and color.

source: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques sixth edition by: Dennis L. Wilcox


~ by necottom on March 21, 2010.

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