Press Release Checklist Item #5


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


Baskerville Old Face 
#5

Not enough Key Ideas -- When you are working out all the possible answers to "Why," you keep a record of your brainstorming in the form of a list of Key Ideas. Some of those ideas may be pretty much off-the-wall, and others may be obvious. But sometimes those "obvious" ideas turn out to be the key to your lead. For example, the story of Eva Peron is a story of a problematic First Lady -- someone who was simultaneously both an asset and a huge headache to her husband -- a lively leader who was criticized for his womanizing, among other things... Remind you of anything? Does it present a suggestive opportunity for you to attract an editor's attention? It's a viable approach, and it starts from the "obvious" fact that "Evita" is about Argentina's leader's wife. When I see a Message Planner with only four or five Key Ideas I know I'm looking at the work of someone who felt they could do the assignment without really giving it much careful thought... without doing the hard work of sifting through all the material available to them... that is, without doing the pre-writing work. Usually, when you're "winging it," that becomes apparent in the results.