For PR writers who submit material to the media, it is important to craft your words well so that readers actually want to read to the end. Readers firstly being the editor or reporter / journalist and secondly, their subscribers/readers.
So what makes good copy? As any television producer will know, it's the human interest angle. Pick up any metro daily and peruse the news section: most will have a human interest aspect.
There still needs to be the news thread through the story, but it wants to include information about the person: the who, what, when, where, why and how. Ideally, it should also include "facts and stats" that relate to the person / company / industry to put it into context.
For a small business success story, for example, it's a good idea to include some background information about how the person or company came to be where they are and what influences or mentors they had.
What do they attribute their success to? What ups and downs have they had along the way? What advice can they give to others?
In writing an article for the media, you must write to the audience and craft the story as if you are the reader. Think what would interest you if you were reading it. That is what the editor or reporter does and you must do the same.
So it comes down to asking the right questions of the person or people you need to interview so you can write such a piece.
Firstly, it pays to research the person and company thoroughly beforehand. You should know as much about them as you can. LinkedIn is a great resource for this and the Internet in general.
Secondly, you need to be empathetic during the interview and guide them in a logical way. I prefer a chronological order as this is easier for the memory bank and allows you to elaborate or skip over particular aspects of events.
Thirdly, the questions need to relate to the underlying news angle. Often the person may stray from the issue and sometimes you can get some great additional material when this happens, but be mindful to keep the interview on track.
There is an art to writing interesting articles and it does take a while before you become adept at it. It needs to be succinct and doesn't want to contain waffle; just put yourself in the readers' position and only write what you would like to read.
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