Public Relations Writing: Lesson #3 - p. 8

Feature Releases

Feature stories are at the center of your best days as a PR writer. A story that runs on the front page of the entertainment section (for "Evita"), or the metro section (for "From the Heart") -- with a big fat color photo – it doesn't get any better than that.

Anyone can get an item in the show listings, or the "What's happening in Turtle Bay" section, or the "New Business Opportunities" column. You don't have to be a PR writer to accomplish that – just a note or a phone call from an intern, supplying just the 5 W's, will get you "covered."

By now, you know that's not enough for this class. We are in the business of taking "good enough" and turning it into real news – genuine news that an editor will appreciate and put on the front page, not because he or she wants to help a "worthy cause" or do you a favor, but because the information you provide, and the spin you put on it, will let that story compete with the other news of the day and come out on top – or up front.

Feature stories don't usually come from feature releases. They usually come from reporters that you have succeeded in pitching, who want to write their own feature story based on the facts from your basic press release. If your message is strong enough and compelling enough, it will survive through the reporter's rewrite of your story.

Still, there is such a thing as a feature release – one of several different types of release. You have been focusing on the most common type – for good reason – but you need to know about feature releases, and the others as well.

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