Press Release Checklist Item #8


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


Baskerville Old Face #8

A weak lead paragraph -- All the work you do in your pre-writing should produce a strong lead graf that makes the reader -- in your case, initially, the editor -- want to keep on reading. This is where your own creativity comes to the fore. Regardless of your "Who" or your "What," and regardless of your choice of news angle, your opening sentences are going to captivate the imagination of whoever reads your release. Your "Who" was not "The homeless of Turtle Bay," but your lead paragraph may well open with those words, if they flow into a colorful, compelling first sentence. If you have come up with a lively "Visual" on your Message Planner, you may find that it helps make your lead paragraph that much livelier. Remember, most of the time your lead paragraph is going to do the whole job, all by itself. Very few editors will take the time to read beyond the first graf, before making a decision about whether to assign the story to a reporter. This is where your skills decide the issue.