Public Relations Writing: Lesson #9 - p. 6

Notice a few things about the Script Treatment

  • The wording is almost exactly identical to the Working Script. First the writer wrote this script treatment ... then he or she took the same words and rearranged them into two columns, depending on whether they were seen or heard.

  • All spoken language is in ALL CAPS with one exception -- whenever the spoken language is a transcript of something a character says in the script, it's put in quote marks, upper & lower case. You probably won't have occasion to use this device (though you could).

  • The script treatment is written in even more intuitive, straightforward language than the working script -- you don't have to know any technical film-writing language to do this. You just write a description of what the news item will look and sound like.

  • This script treatment can be easily understood by anyone -- without requiring any knowledge of screenwriting. It's not as potentially confusing as a working script (in two separate columns). The script treatment is what gets circulated in the PR office, and discussed with the client, etc. Once everyone's happy with the concept, dialog, etc., it is then developed into the two-column working script for delivery to the production people.

Other examples of a script treatment and working script

    Here's another sample of what your VNR work might look like:

      Click here to read a story about Dandy Candy, a fictional enterprise in Chicago. Read these two pages, and then close the window to return to this point in the lesson.

    Now it's your turn to try your hand at writing both a script treatment and a working script. Your assignment for this lesson is to write a script treatment and a working script for that "worthy cause" I asked you to begin thinking about. Who would you like to have as your client?

      ...You might want to do a video news release about natural gas technology and the plans of Natgo...

      ...You might want to do a VNR about "From the Heart"...

      ...You could do a VNR about handicapped parking -- why it's important to obey those signs, both from the standpoint of the needs of people who use wheelchairs, and also from the standpoint of the stiff penalties -- running in for a pack of cigarettes can cost you $150 in fines...

      ...Or any other subject that interests you.

    Follow the directions in this lesson, and make sure you observe the format requirements. Use the "tables" option in Microsoft Word to create your two columns for the working script.

    Put your VNR Script Treatment and Working Script in the same file:

    You do not need to do message planner with this assignment -- though you might want to. The message planner is your pre-writing that gives shape to everything else you write. Be sure to look at the example of a message planner which you can reach from the page about Evaluating Press Releases.

    Put all the elements into one Microsoft Word file (not separate files): Start with the Message Planner, then on a new page – but in the same Microsoft Word document – begin the Script Treatment, and then create a new page to begin the Working Script.

      name the file PRW-yourlastname-VNR

      In the "Subject:" field put PRW-yourlastname-VNR

    Email to me at:

    Keep up the good work --

    Alton Miller

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