Feature Story Tips

I found this image here.

eHow.com describes a feature story as:

“A feature story is an essay written by a journalist or news reporter on varied subjects of human interest. It can be a profile of someone or about some event. It can also be about your pet, favorite food or dresses and so on. When writing a good feature story, it require certain basic and special skills to make it appealing and generally persuasive”.

All feature stories need to have solid guidelines. I have gone to a few different websites to determine some good tips to write a good feature story. The following 10 tips come from PRtoolkit.com

  1. Headline- You should write a two-line headline that tells the story. This will be all editors will have to go on to decide whether they will open up the story and consider it for publication or broadcast. The aim is to have copy used verbatim. If it reads like an ad, it won’t get used.
  2. First Paragraph- You need to expand upon the same story told in the headline in 30 words or less. Keep all your paragraphs short, using simple, declarative sentences. Don’t digress. If you use adjectives, make them count.
  3. Second Paragraph- In the second paragraph you should include:
  • Backing up your story with supporting information.
  • Identify who is telling the story.
  • Add toll free number and price in parentheses.
  • Add full Web site address enabling a hyperlink.

4.Third Paragraph- You use a humanizing or compelling quote from a spokesperson you want interviewed
and who can lend authority to the story.

5. Fourth Paragraph- You need to transition into details and explain how the product works or provide tips
and advice.

6.Fifth Paragraph- Support the story with a third-party endorsement or a quote. Alternatively, you can
provide additional detail or biographical information, if necessary.

7. Sixth Paragraph- Provide context to your story by including the fact or statistic that demonstrates
the importance of the story.

8. Final Paragraph- Tell them how to get what you’re selling. Repeat purchase information such as toll-free
number or Web address.

9. Editors Notes- Interviews, photos, video, b-roll product demo materials available.

10. Other General Guidelines-

  • Look for a feature angle that will interest readers.
  • Talk to the source, uncover the story.
  • Identify up to three types of editors you want to target.
  • Keep most paragraphs to under 30 words.
  • Make the feature useable verbatim if cut after the second paragraph.
  • Write in laymen’s language. Avoid superlatives, jargon and excessive mentions of a brand name.

Also Poynter.com posted a very interesting article that involves feature stories. Yo can find the article here.

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