What is PR Writing?
I'm going to
make several points in this lesson, summarized as:
People like stories. PR writers get paid (and paid well!)
to tell stories.
PR writing is a particular kind of story-telling, requiring a
PR writers write for a very specific primary audience.
There are three basic concepts in PR writing:
Angle (the 6th W)
But before we get into that detail, let's begin writing. Or
rather, pre-writing. Read
this story about WBEZ's Internet fundraising and answer the following questions:
Take a moment and THINK. Imagine you're watching a short
news story or infomercial -- a two-minute film clip -- about this
subject. As you imagine this story on TV, answer the following
First, if it were a short film
Who would it be about?
What is the important thing that he or she (or they) is doing
Where is it happening? locally?
When it is happening? recently? today?
Why is this significant or newsworthy?
You have just analyzed a news story according to the
journalistic 5W's -- Who, What, Where, When, and Why or How.
Now, to show how news stories can vary, I want you to re-think
the story presented in this article. Shift the point of view.
Using the same basic facts, ask yourself:
Who else could be the center of this story?
What is it they're doing (or having done to them) that could
make them the center?
When is it going to happen (or when did it happen)?
Why or how is this story newsworthy, with this new center of
focus -- it could be the same as in the article, or it could have
Okay, first assignment: Send me your answers to
these ten questions. You can do this by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although for most assignments you will be sending me attached Word documents, for this
assignment a simple email message is just fine.