Get the press you want by crafting an attribute story that’ll get found by the papers.
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Pitching the media could be tough. Each day, reporters are inundated with breaking news from different sources, all clamoring for attention. One method to break through the cacophony is to provide a different kind of article–one that speaks to a subject that’s of interest to a market but isn’t reliant on being newsworthy right at this time it’s sent. That kind of article is called an attribute.
A feature can be an in-depth look at a subject, product or industry–it’s a complex story made to be read at a relaxed pace. And an attribute can benefit your company by linking your brand or product to a more substantial trend or industry focus while also showcasing you, the entrepreneur, as a thought-leader in your field. While a news release was created to entice the reporter into learning more info themselves, a feature’s made to be utilized as is, or merely edited to match the area available.
Topics such as for example health, do-it-yourself, travel and technology all lend themselves well to features given that they can be found in special parts of newspapers–such as lifestyle, home, arts or technology–or in the weekend magazines. Trade publications also publish feature articles, usually by means of special supplements.
Just because a feature ought to be written from a journalistic perspective, you should emphasize information over outright promotion. Ideally, an attribute editor won’t change the story at all and can use it as it’s needed as part of a style or even to fill space.
Papers prefer to have quality articles readily available, so develop your feature-worthy concept, then utilize the following ideas to help you write an excellent article.
Headlines The headline may be the most vital part of your feature. Treat the headline as though it were a listing of the article. Consider, How come this story important? How about it’ll it grab readers’ interest? An excellent headline answers those questions by telling the reader something new, different or useful–in 20 words or less. A few examples I’ve seen recently include:
- Plug-In Devices ASSIST IN SAVING Money on Your DOMESTIC BILL
- Reinventing the "Mommy Tack": More Women Choose Business Ownership to get Control, Flexibility and Family Time
- The Sleep Expert’s Advice on Creating the proper Sleep Environment for Students
To create an excellent headline, pretend you’re telling a pal what the article’s about, explaining the most interesting areas of your story. Keep carefully the wording simple, and steer clear of superlatives and emotive language. Also, stay away from a brand or client name in the headline unless it is rather well known. Instead, concentrate on what’s most interesting about your topic.
Leads A solid lead paragraph offers intrigue right away. Editors don’t possess time to read through the whole article to attain your a key point, and neither do your readers. Think about the lead as a protracted version of the headline, even using a number of the same words.
When writing a lead, make an effort to keep carefully the paragraph short–two to three short sentences at most. Altogether, your feature ought to be near 400 words. Don’t worry about your brand as of this point–just introduce the interesting areas of the story. If your lead reads as an ad, it will likely be discarded immediately.
THE NEXT Paragraph The next paragraph serves to aid and expand on the ideas lay out in the lead. It is also a good spot to let people know who’s "behind" the feature so there is no confusion about who provided the copy. Also, if this article needs to be shortened because of space limitations, getting the name of the business or spokesperson as well as your web address close to the beginning will be quite crucial.
If written well, the first two paragraphs can serve as a short column item or filler if a newspaper or magazine has only limited space.
Using Quotes A quote can lend authority to articles, introduce an expert and additional advance the story. Most significant, quotes can introduce personal feelings, comments and opinion, which means this is where you intend to use superlatives and emotive language (without sounding false!). Be certain quotes are in a conversational style, and do not merely cite facts or figures–no real person speaks only in data. Also avoid repeating information or using jargon; speak just like you were explaining your service or product to your grandmother.
Ideally, the individual you quote ought to be someone who’d be accessible for interviews should a journalist want to ask additional questions. So they ought to be knowledgeable on this issue and open to dealing with the media. Use your strongest quote first, and become sure to supply information on the speaker and his / her relation to the business in a contact section towards the end of your article.
ENGAGING IN Detail Following the third paragraph, any information you add should develop the story further and contain the interest of the reader. Now’s enough time to get into detail about the advantages of something, or the mechanisms of how it operates. However, for simple reading, use bullet points or "top tips" if you are listing information.
One more thing to remember–and one way an attribute differs from a news release–is a feature story will hardly ever include corporate identity or forward-looking statements.
When to Send an attribute Generally, newspaper feature sections are planned at least three weeks beforehand, so you will have to plan ahead. E-mail the features editor to determine their interest before you begin writing–just a straightforward outline will do. If you are trying to get right into a trade publication, research your facts and check the deadlines–they could possibly be working just as much as three months beforehand.
Most newswires offer feature services and media databases, and they’re going to often provide a feature calendar that corresponds with publications’ payment dates. Consider distributing your feature via newswire and, when possible, choose one which has a set of when and where your feature could possibly be placed and advises on crafting your feature for the various audiences.
Also, remember your web audience. Se’s are used an incredible number of times every day by people looking for how-to, where-to and when-to articles. Your newswire will help you reach these audiences by giving search engine optimization to greatly help get your story placed highly in searches.
Images and Multimedia A photo could mean difference in the middle of your feature being chosen for publication vs. them choosing your competitor’s. An image helps explain the story and will draw the eye of these scanning the page. In addition, it giveseditors more options when filling space.
Ensure that your photos are high-quality: Always provide digital photos in high res (300 dpi) and, when possible, keep these things shot by a specialist. A bad photo will think about the caliber of your feature.
Other multimedia options add a video or audio version of your story, or additional expert quotes and interviews. An attribute podcast or multimedia news release range from each one of these assets to transform your story into an online experience for your audience, filled with links and reference materials to let them experience more for themselves.
Finally. When sending your feature to reporters for editorial consideration, you shouldn’t be afraid to call them to provide more info; however, don’t call to check on that the article is here. Reporters are busy and do not like being called without justification. And become patient–since your feature isn’t breaking news, the reporter may file it for use in a few days, next month or through the next holidays.
Once your feature’s been accepted, consider follow-up opportunities: Track industry trends, or consider performing a "What happened a year later" story or a biography of someone quoted in this article. With luck, your feature may be the next topic of discussion around the water cooler.