Press Release Checklist Item #4


This short item is from the Press Release Checklist,
a list of common problems with PR writing assignments.


Baskerville Old Face #4

Your "Why" or "How" aren't interesting -- If your "Who-What" combo helps you figure out what your story is about, your "Why-How" helps you figure out what makes it news. There will never be a single answer to this question. "Why" the food drive? -- well, to feed the hungry, of course... but also, more precisely, to collect food for the program of free meals that will begin Feb. 14... but also, more generally, to realize the students' aim of making a difference in their community... but also, by the way, because of what sociology students found out about their own community, which set everything in motion... that is, because of the problems following the layoffs at the marshmallow factory... but that's on top of the previous problems of poverty in Persimmon County... but also because the Westland College Student Association exists to translate good intentions into actions... but also because the Anodyne Center is there and can handle the traffic... but also because the students want to take responsibility for one night a week and set an example that will challenge other civic organizations to pick up the other six nights... and also because Mayor Jimmy Cline is willing to put the town of Turtle Bay behind this effort... and so forth. There may be more emphasis on "How" than "Why" if the story is about a product or service like the "Natgo" release -- but either way, your pre-writing will generate a wide range of ideas. There are many possible approaches to "Why" or "How" and you need to list them all and then pick out the most interesting. Which leads to the next most common problem: