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The 5 w questions revisited

At its heart, good PR is storytelling.  But PR’s who rigidly follow the ‘5 w’  inverted pyramid approach for writing press releases can end up putting their organisation’s story into a straightjacket. The structure is too regimented.  And it can restrain the writer, leaving the story nowhere to go.

Why are PR’s encouraged to write news releases by highlighting the key who, what, where, why, when (and sometimes how) questions in the lead paragraph? This practice was born in an era when a release could be printed and cut from the bottom if space was limited.

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Channel hopping for PR

Whilst running a course on strategic communications last week, I was reminded how the word ‘channel’ has come to mean the medium or media channels that PR’s use for communicating with chosen audiences. Deciding what channels to use is key to good PR planning. But it’s no longer relevant to segregate them in terms of print, online and broadcast because everything has merged in this digi-mobile era.  I look at them in terms of whether the media is earned, owned or bought as well as non-media communication channels.  The reality is that we often end up compromising in our choice of channels because of a lack of time, budget and ability to measure impact.  But here’s a simple list of their pro’s and con’s: Read more