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Creating News Features and Op-Ed (week 9 notes) March 12, 2010

Posted by Chris Yates in PRCA 3330-Reading Notes.

     A feature story is very different from a basic news release. It will generally contain much more information and greater detail. A feature story leaves more room for creativity, which is essential for generating human interest. Some important attributes of feature stories:

  • Can provide more information to the consumer
  • Gives background context about the featured organization
  • Behind-the-scenes perspective
  • Creates human interest
  • Can generate publicity for standard products and services

     Types of Feature Stories

  • Case Studies – Frequently used in product publicity; form of third-party endorsement or testimonial that helps to illustrate acceptance or popularity
  • Application Story – Focuses primarily on how consumers can use a product or service in new or interesting ways
  • Research Study – Surveys and polls, as well as scientific research, can generate opportunities for feature writing
  • Backgrounder – Focuses on an organization’s history with finding a solution to a problem
  • Personality Profile – Attempt to humanize celebrities or public figures
  • Historical Piece – Perfect for anniversaries, major changes, etc. in an organization

     Possibilities for feature story placement include newspapers, magazines, specialty/trade publications, and organizations’ internal publications.

All information is paraphrased from Dennis Wicox’s book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.


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