Public Relations Writing: Lesson #2 - p. 3

Planning your Press Release (continued)

This is one of the differences between straight journalism and PR writing. Straight news does not require a "message" -- the main points of the story are the message. In fact, in journalism the reporting is tainted if the reporter is actively trying to send you a "message."

Traditionally, journalism lets the facts speak for themselves. There may be several points of view -- people are quoted in the story, speaking for and against a new tax, for example -- but the reporter has no personal opinion, no "message" that he or she is trying to subtly communicate in the story.

And the news angle is contained in the facts of the matter -- there is no separate news angle -- it's contained in the main points too: a story about a tiger in a tree (escaped from the circus) -- that's a story, just because of the facts -- they're unusual ... but a story about your pussycat in a tree is not news.

As we get into a discussion of the Message Planner in the next few pages, I am going to throw a lot of information at you. Take your time, re-read it and absorb it -- since you're not sitting in the classroom I can't look in your eyes and tell whether you're "getting it" -- and then do the assignment.

Take comfort from the fact that this is the most intense part of our lessons, and I don't expect every student to master this information on the first try... it's a little like working in the theater where the director tells the actor what he or she is going for, but doesn't expect instant results from the actor until the direction is internalized... that's what all those weeks of rehearsal are for...

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