Week 1- PR Writing

This is the first blog post you will respond to for the semester for JRNL 314 – PR Writing. Remember, discussions begin on Tuesday and end on Friday.

Directions: Choose ONE of the following and respond: (check the syllabus for specific instructions)

Current events and issues often provide a “news hook” to get media coverage for a product or service. What kind of product, company, or organization could use the following news items as a “news hook” to get a story in the local daily: (1) national study shows crashes of privately owned small planes are up; (2) corporate philanthropy on a national level rose 5 percent; (3) the State Legislature is currently debating a ban on handgun sales; (4) local companies are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers; (5) a major nonprofit group is facing bankruptcy because of mismanagement; and (6) the local daily has just published an investigative series about local companies violating state law by hiring recent immigrants to do “piecework” in their homes at substandard wages.

OR

Chapter 1 lists some Internet sites that a public relations writer might use. Do some “surfing” on the net from the list on page 15. Write a response on what kinds of information you found at one particular site.

OR

The writing level should be geared to the audience. Standard writing contains about 140 to 150 syllables per 100 words and an average sentence length of 17 words. Select a page from a textbook and one from a weekly newsmagazine. Do they reflect standard writing, or are they more difficult or easier than the average?

 

There are 33 comments

  1. dosborn4

    The type of book depends on whether or not the writing reflects standard writing. In textbooks for example, they may or may not need to break down a lot of information when explaining a topic. Some are a bit more wordy than others. A biology book will more than likely have more syllables and words in a sentence when explaining the human body. This could be harder when their is that much detail in a chapter. In my textbook, “Managing Human Resources”, the first couple sentences have a little but more than the average 17 words. This is because it explains the job description of a Human Resources Manager. Though, in the next couple pages where it talks about “The Impact of Globalization”, the sentences are more concise because its giving examples of various businesses being affected by globalization. In comparison, a weekly magazine such as, “USWeekly”, that talks about the lives of our favorite celebrities often do get lengthy since they want the public to get a detailed look at the lives of these stars and their daily activities. In an article I read with a headline, “Julia Roberts Wears Red Mini Dress, Reunites with My Best Friend’s Wedding Costar Dermot Mulroney”, it pretty much summed up Julia Roberts entire outfit and where and why she wore that outfit. Writers will give a full on description on the event or place they saw the star and what they are wearing and what their kids are wearing from head to toe. In both cases they both are easier than standard writing in a way because neither are that hard to really understand.

    1. ljacks38

      Darius, I think you’re totally right on this one. It really depends what kind of content that material consists of. Like you said a biology book, for example, may have longer sentences because there is so much to learn about. However, depending on the grade level, the sentences could be long and easy to understand because they go into so much detail explaining what every word means, or the sentences could be hard to comprehend and lengthy. In a way I think that standard writing is thrown out the window. For example, a blog or a Cosmopolitan magazine may stretch the rules on standard writing rules because a blog is a personal account where you can write whatever you want and how you want. Cosmopolitan is such a well-known magazine that whether they have correct grammar or standard writing or not, doesn’t really affect their sales in any way. You made some good points, nice work.

    2. kcbproject

      Some very good points with this response. I did not think about some of the feature stories in weekly news magazines when I answered this same question, and how they might be wordy and a bit long. Some stories in Time and Newsweek might be set up with a bit more complexity than some other weekly publications. I think the style and format for sentence structure in news magazines depends a lot on what kind of article it is, also. For example, news articles follow the more traditional patterns that can be found in most major newspapers. This includes very short and simple sentences. Feature stories would probably be a bit longer and colorful with the wordplay used.The same rationale could definitely be applied the difficulty level for understanding textbooks. Depending on what subject is being covered would probably determine the style of approach the author used to convey their specific message. It is all relevant to what the author is writing about.

    3. ekrzyzan

      Darious I total agree with you. The style of reading total depends on what is being discussed. However I think its necessary to stick to average writing style to keep things from getting confusing. Your comment about biology books is very true, sentences in that kind of book are going to be way more loaded with words than your average book since they are trying to explain complex topics. I mean our PR books are typically written in small concise paragraphs because that is how we are taught to wright.

      I slightly disagree with you about the magazines. As I do think they try to cram a lot of information in there, I think they also try to make it like less writing. Someone is way more inclined to read something if it looks like less writing. I think thats why they have thin columns that they typically write in, it makes it look like less words.

    4. Alicia

      I definitely agree with you that the target audience makes a huge difference in how publications are written. I think that most people would expect that textbooks would be written at a higher level, because the students who are reading them are expected to have a higher level of understanding of the material. But with magazines and newspapers, the general public has to be able to understand what is being said. I’ve heard in a lot of the classes that I’ve taken here at Eastern that most newspapers and magazines are written at about an 8th grade level, because most of the general public can read and understand things that are written at that level.This way you can also take into account those whose first language isn’t English. The audience a writer is trying to target is definitely the most important thing that determines how a publication is written.

  2. lmcnulty26

    While looking at the list of websites chapter one listed as “useful websites for Public Relations Writers” I went to prnewswire.com. I found that this web site was very informative. I have never been to the website before and being a first time observer of the website I found it interesting. The site was full of content, for instance you can give them your press releases and they will distribute them for you. The web site says, “With distribution to cover 200,000 media points and 8,000+ websites, PRNewswire’s content distribution network offers the most ways to reach your audience, including the most visibility in social media.” I found this to be a great tool to possibly use in my professional career later on. The site offers the latest news releases, for instance the day I was looking at the website a press release was put out by Jeep. In Auburn Hills, Michigan Jeep introduced the new 2014 Wrangler Dragon Edition. I guess I picked the right day to check out the website because it happened to have on there something that hit close to home for me. Becoming a member does have a cost ranging from $195 to $249 with other fees possibly added on. If the website it honest and that they can distribute to as many outlets as they say they can then I would like the small fee they charge to become a member is worth it. They are also connected to many social media as well which is also important because they probably post a lot of information there. If you haven’t already checked out the website prnewswire.com I would recommend it also to bookmark it for future references.

    1. ljacks38

      Lisa, I just took a look at the website. It seems to be pretty popular with over 12,000 likes on Facebook and over 75,000 followers on Twitter. I would for sure do some investigating first before I bought a membership. Like you said, if they were honest about distributing press releases you give them, then I would absolutely do it. Although, I wonder if you’re able to get proof of whom they sent it out to? I really do like this concept that PR Newswire has though. I think it can be a great stepping stone for companies and brands, especially for newer ones that aren’t quite established in the industry. I think it’s nice that you’re able to look at their awards and honors to see how organizations look up to them, and same goes with the “In the news” section. They seem like a reliable source. Thanks for sharing!

    2. kaitlynn14

      Hi Lisa!
      I also found prnewswriter.com interesting and informative as a first-time observer, the site has so many categories with many levels of subcategories! I also really appreciate the way they organized their products/services, and the insight on different aspects of PR within their, “Knowledge Center.” This company gives the impression that they are very invested in the success of their clients and knowledgeable as to what goes into successful PR representation. From what I have observed, I would probably consider them, however I think prospective clients would benefit from seeing success stories or labels of credibility.
      I also enjoyed browsing through the company’s blog, the content is diverse, people friendly and includes interesting, original media which is refreshing.

    3. captainepic337

      Very cool website. I am glad you took the initiative to look deeply into it and give us your review. Not only did I find the site helpful and agree with your comments, but I also realized that the page is laid out very familiarly.

      I couldn’t place my finger on it until I went to review my wix.com page again. it’s all in the formatting. The way that they chose to layout the page is very user-friendly. .

      I am also a first-time viewer of the page, like others who have commented. I am ot very experienced in PR and the page gave me the ability to feel immersed in the field. After just an hour on the page scanning around, I felt smarter, more experienced, and more credible.

      This was a great answer to the assignment as well as a really great website and resource find. I think with things like this, you will do well this semester.

  3. captainepic337

    so, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to answer for all six of them for the first choice but I’ll give this a shot since it’s my first post of the class.

    For number one: ‘national study shows crashes of privately owned small planes are up’ I would assume that aeronautical repair, small planes and retailers, pilot licensing facilities and other airline affiliates as well as airplane manufacturers would want to get in on the action. I think the idea here is that people want to get the word out that more and more people are flying. It’s also perhaps, a statement about the economy. The fact that more people are able to purchase these expensive planes would suggest an economic upturn.

    For number two: ‘corporate philanthropy on a national level rose 5 percent’ I would assume that large companies with high stock market value as well as large philanthropic organizations such as Relay for Life or Habitat for Humanity would also like to use this news hook. Maybe even organizations such as PayPal. I think big companies want to get the word out that they’re doing good things in large organizations would like to spread the word that more people are willing to invest, hence, more people creating further investments.

    When it comes to ‘the State Legislature is currently debating a ban on handgun sales’ I just really don’t know the market well enough. I looked around online for a bit and all I could really come up with was stories such as Walmart, which sell firearms, along with other firearms vendors and perhaps the NRA. I would assume they would want to use this hook in order to create a rush in the market.

    Number four: ‘local companies are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers’ as an example that I enjoyed thinking about. Colleges, universities, temp agencies, unemployment agencies, homeless shelters and so much more could use this news hook in so many ways to stimulate the job market.

    I’m not sure if I’m doing this assignment correctly or not, but I believe I have more than enough words for response. Hopefully someone will comment to my post and either give me direction or critique so that my follow-up posts can improve upon this first blog of mine for this class.

    1. ekrzyzan

      I also commented on that questions.

      I thought your response to the airplane one was interesting. I like how you took a more positive view, mine was slightly more conniving. I choose to use it as on opportunity for one of their competitors to shine some positive light on themselves (I am a little over competitive). However I really like your perspective!

      On the second one I total agree with you. Philanthropy always looks good, so what a better way to toot your own horn than by talking about your rise in philanthropic work! In my sorority we talk about our philanthropy work all the time.

      For the one with job shortages you thought about that one way more then I did! I had a hard time of thinking of anything else besides colleges. Good job!

      As for whether or not you are doing the assignment correctly I think you’re good! You just have to respond to the blog post with 250 words and reply to two comments with 150 words.

    2. Heidi

      I thought it was interesting how you connected the news hook with an economic upturn.

      In addition, I agree that companies utilize philanthropy as a way to build up more fan support. In fact, I still remember how many people were upset when they read about how the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO said a lot of people don’t belong in the clothes and it was also upsetting to hear his views about how size is related to beauty. I think this shows that the right actions are key to gaining support or losing it.

      I agree that colleges could use the news hook to stimulate the job market because it would seem there are many opportunities waiting if local companies are stating they don’t have enough qualified workers, and this would present an opportunity for colleges to talk about how some career paths are in demand right now.

  4. laurenbronson

    Question Two:

    I checked out the website, http://www.pollingreport.com. What first drew me to that link out of the vast choices our textbook gives us was the word, polling. When I write I often like to incorporate statistics that support or persuade my audience to think a certain way, and I find statistics really helpful in bringing validity to writing in general. On pollingreport.com they have a massive list of topics to choose from. Once you click on the topic that fits your interest they list a wide variety of questions having to do with that specific topic. You then can see the percentages of people’s opinions on the topic. The subjects to choose from are so diverse, everything from the environment, to Obama’s Administration, to Egypt, marijuana, marriage statistics and much more. I also like that each question is dated and asked periodically through a stretch of time. For example, the question, “Overall, do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out?” Back in June of 1999, 55% of people polled said that our founding Father’s would be disappointed, compared to June 2013 where 71% of people believe they would be disappointed. This site provides interesting facts and statistics that not only provides us with important and relevant information regarding what our fellow Americans believe, but also enables us as PR practitioners to better know what the public’s views and opinions are. This in turn, helps us know how to improve the way we talk to our viewers.

    1. kcbproject

      I reviewed the site after reading your review, and I found it to be quite helpful as well. As a news reporter, I understand the importance of having solid data or quotes to back up anything written as a fact in an article. This site would definitely assist with providing relevant data for most any news story that is currently a topic of discussion in this country. I was worried that it would not provide any real credibility to the stats and data given, but some of the polls were from major news publications, and could be easily referenced when quoted for a story. I was surprised at how many different topics there were, and how timely some of the polling was conducted. There were news stories from yesterday’s paper that already had relevant polls listed on the site, and that could be useful for anyone conducting research about anything, I will definitely search this site next time I need data or statistics to back up information for an article or homework.

    2. dosborn4

      Lauren, this is a great website like you had mentioned in your blog. It is very important to try to sway your audience as a PR professional. From looking at the vast number of topics that were listed on the pollingreport.com website, I was quite surprised on how many different topics that Americans converse about as well. There was a topic titled “50 years after I Have A Dream”, which contained polling done between white and black Americans. The questions all related back to race and one question in particular that caught my attention was “How much discrimination do you think there is against African Americans in our society today: a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?” This kind of struck a nerve for me seeing that more white Americans thought there was little discrimination amongst black Americans. There are still alot of issues on race in our society still but not very many people want to admit or acknowldege it. It’s much better than it was it was in the 50’s and 60’s but we still have work to do as a nation. I think I will continue to check this website out.

    3. lmcnulty26

      The blog that you checked out sounds pretty interesting. I liked how they broke everything into topics but then also broke it down to questions as well. When I write I also like to use statistics and I think I will have to check this website out next time I am writing a paper. Being able to see I wide range of subjects is also a key factor with this website. I found it interesting about what you mentioned when they ask the same question but over the course of time, which is great to see if opinions or comments have changed any. I liked the comment you made about how the information helps PR practitioners to know what the public views and opinions are on certain topics. I’m glad you posted about this website because I did not take a look at it while I too was looking over the list of websites from the book.

  5. ljacks38

    I browsed through a few useful websites for people in the PR field and http://www.prfirms.org or in other words, Council of Public Relations Firms, really stuck out to me and I highly recommend taking a look at it! With almost 11,000 followers on Twitter, this site is great for both sides of PR, whether you already have a job or you’re interested/ looking for a job in PR. There are 7useful tabs at the top; Firms, Blog, Inside PR, Careers, Resource, Events, and Join. The two tabs that I personally loved were the Blog and Careers tabs. When you click on Blog, any recent blog posts that Council of Public Relations Firms were tagged in shows up. After reading through a couple posts, I think these have some great tips. For example, one of the posts is titled, “Stepping it up- Eight Hot Career Tips from this Year’s Hottest Stars.” Another example is, “More Ideas for Getting the Big Idea.” These bloggers give some really great advice to readers. My other favorite tab, Careers, is perfect for students like myself who are getting close to graduating. On the right side of the page there’s links to member careers pages, job posts, and current job openings. Another thing that I love is they have members who’ve found a job with the help of this site. They give feedback on how they received a job, how PR is treating them, and some of them talk about how they were in a totally different field before, but this site sort of made them change lanes. I found Council of Public Relations Firms to be extremely helpful and I definitely will use this as a directory to help myself find a job after I graduate.

    1. dosborn4

      Lora I really like this site because its sole purpose is to help those in the PR field, whether they are a student on the job hunt or an active professional, find a job thats right for them. This breaks down the many types of PR jobs that there are. I particularly like the tab “Firm”. This tab lets you get specific in the state, metro area, Industry Sector Expertise and even the size of the firm! I didn’t know there was such a site that let you choose the size of firm that best suites you. I think this is an amazing site for every PR student to check out. I will more than likely be viewing this site for future jobs myself.

    2. lmcnulty26

      I also looked at the different websites listed in the book but I did not take a look at prfirms.org. It’s nice to see that they are trying to help anyone out that is in the PR field. With 11,000 followers on Twitter they sure seem to know what they are talking about because they have the followers. From the examples you posted from the blog it sounds like they offer anyone interesting the PR field very helpful tips. Any tips that are offered to me I would take and utilize to my advantage, especially if it came to getting a job. I liked that you pointed out the career tab as well. That could be a very big help when it comes to finding a PR job as I am too getting close to graduating. Posting feedback on how they got a job is also great because it gives those of us graduating some insight.

    3. Alicia

      This looks like a really cool site! I checked out this website as well, and it looks like a great resource for anyone looking for public relations information. I checked out the blog that’s posted on the website, and it has a lot of helpful information about a variety of topics that someone could run across in this field. I was also surprised by how many case studies and other publications they offer as resources for PR professionals. Everything that’s on this website is really helpful for anyone looking to get into public relations, and I’m sure it’s really helpful for those already in the field. I didn’t really see anything I didn’t like about this website. Awesome!

    4. laurenbronson

      You can’t argue with 11,000 followers on Twitter! I really enjoyed the careers tab you mentioned as well! It not only gave you options on what careers are potentially available but gave you tips and networking ideas on how to nail the job you want to get. Totally relevant and useful for PR students like us! I also loved the tab “Inside PR” because it talks about what is really going on in the PR world today… not simply a textbook definition but specific things that PR is doing good along with statistics backing it up! Very interesting, thank you for sharing!!

  6. kcbproject

    Ken
    Question 3
    The writing levels of the Metrotimes and the class textbook differed quite drastically when they were compared. The PR writing textbook followed the model of standard writing more closely, and the weekly newspaper had the writing level intended for about an 8th grader.

    The Metrotimes is a weekly newsmagazine intended to keep a younger audience up-to-date on current trends and topics. The sentences were not longwinded or complex at all. This did not surprise me, because I was taught as a journalist to not be overly grammatically savvy and to keep sentences very short and concise. The reader feels like the author is trying to be uppity and condescending when they use big, flashy words. Most newspapers use very simple formatting for their paragraph and sentence structure, and this helps keep the reporting relatable and easy to understand for everyone.

    The book, in contrast, has very long sentences with words that are a bit more obscure. I reviewed pg. 321 at random, and the lead sentence of the third paragraph has 25 words and 41 syllables. This is acceptable in scholastic writing because the intended audience is supposed to be educated and paying attention to the author’s words carefully. The book uses words like “tacitly,” “dazzling” and “equivalency.” These words are not terribly complicated, but it is noticeably different when compared with MT. The difficulty level is definitely a step up from a free weekly newspaper, and it makes some sense as to why this is the norm.

    The fact that I find most interesting is how both of these publications are intended for basically the same age-group, yet they are drastically different in style and approach to reach their goals.

    1. kaitlynn14

      Yes, it is very interesting how both publications are intended for the same audience but are written in two completely different ways. Like you said, in journalism writing, we’re taught to be short and concise for the purpose of understanding and retaining a reader’s attention. It is also interesting that in textbooks about how to be short and concisely, the writing of the instruction to do so is the complete opposite. However often times for textbooks, the reader is required to read and completely understand the given information and the success of the textbook may depend on how effective the presentation of the information is. Therefore, I think textbooks offer that unwritten freedom for the writers to use colorful, distinctive language. If the writers of our textbook were to use the same writing of the Metrotimes, I’d probably feel as though they were insulting my intelligence. Funny how that works, you made a great comparison!

    2. captainepic337

      It is weird nowadays how we communicate. In this new digital age, we have changed the way people communicate in such a drastic way that just keeping up and monitoring the changes is becoming a task in itself.

      I am not surprised either that the textbook and Metrotimes magazine had drastically different ways of communicating to the same audience. As you pointed out, short and concise is the way of the journalist. Also, in my opinion, the textbook is speaking to you like an elder while the magazine speaks to you as your peer.

      I think you did a good, strong analysis of the two and ow they differ in communication channels and techniques. I would find it even more interesting to find another magazine and compare it again to the text and Metrotimes to see if the magazines are more similar, or if the other magazine is again different from the other two.

  7. ekrzyzan

    Question One:

    The hook about the small plane crashes could obviously be a hook for a major airline company like Delta or American Airlines. They certainly would rather people fly with them then with other companies in general. However I think it could be used by almost any other transportation company, cars, buses even trains, could use it in there advantage to persuade people to travel with them.

    The second one could be used by a major chain company. Maybe a company like BP that had not been doing so hot could use it to shine a little better light on them. I mean by saying that corporate philanthropy is up by 5% looks pretty good. Most people won’t even look at the 5% they’ll just look and that part that says it’s up. This could even be good for a fast food chain or any company that is typically not a public favorite.

    Holy moly who isn’t talking about guns right now. With that being said it is a very political heavy topic and would be real risky for a company to be discussing that in anyway. I think it would be best if it were some sort of organization. More particularly an organization that is for stoping guns sales all together, like anti-gun lobbying organizations. In my opinion unless it’s what you’re all about it’s a bad idea to bring up political opinions.

    Almost any college could use the fourth one. Community colleges especially already use hooks like. They will talk about getting a job and being prepared for the world. Bringing up an actual statistic, saying that qualified workers are at a low, could be really motivating for some people.

    1. Heidi

      I think you made a good point when you said the plane crashes could be used by other forms of transportation because they could appeal to the fear people have of flying to help increase their own sales.

      Also, I agree that philanthropy efforts can be a great way for companies to help out their image and I’m sure BP could benefit a little from helping communities since people tend to be more willing to forgive after they see a company make steps in the right direction.

      I don’t completely agree because I think there are different ways to view the question, but I do agree that political opinions can really decrease fan support so it is very important to understand the other point of view before stating a point of view by your organization.

      In addition, that is very true. I think statistics can be very powerful in motivating others, but they can also fall flat if you don’t understand what it is that your audience is interested in knowing.

    2. akangas1

      Although I agree with you on the first one I don’t think that this hook is as “obvious” as you may think. This could also be used somewhat creatively. Where are these crashes taking place? Why are they happening? Who is responsible? If we cover all of the bases and dig a little deeper we may find a more intriguing story. You’re absolutely right, the obvious choice would be a corporate airline, however, a more interesting story may be for a different type of company. Say some of the parts in these planes are faulty. That would make a very good hook for a manufacturer of plane parts, or their competitors. It could also be that a large portion of these planes are made by one private airline manufacturer and if that is the case their competitor may be very interested in hearing this information.

  8. kaitlynn14

    Question Two:

    HighBeam Research [www.highbeam.com] has been established a little over 10 years and is powered by the popular Cengage Learning. The website is actually a simple yet excellent research tool, as it provides access to millions of credible documents from thousands of publications including magazines, journals and newspapers. We all know that research is an important aspect of public relations, and it can be very frustrating trying to find reliable information on the internet. HighBeam is very user friendly; one may search for a specific topic or there are, “hot topic,” items organized by organization, country, name, date or publication. The site also aids in research by offering a place to organize your findings, one can set up alerts to be e-mailed when a piece from a specific publication or topic is added to the site, and there is also an option to export articles.

    Though it is clearly outdated, I think one of the coolest parts of the site is the Backstories blog—it provides readers with back story articles that give meaning and better insight on all current news and trends. The blog is also a great place for readers to share ideas through comments, testimonials and even reviews on the website itself. The social media pages for HighBeam are also out of date, but there are plenty of current documents for research purposes which may still make opening an account with them worth it. A subscription with highbeam.com is necessary for access to full articles, and it comes with a price of $199.95 a year or $29.95 a month. With their impressive collection, I’ll definitely keep them in the back of my mind for when I no longer have access to a [free] university database of articles

    1. laurenbronson

      Your blog entry specifically stood out to me because I for one HATE research. I find it overwhelming and stressful with how much data is out there, but then you have to go even further and make sure the data you are researching is credible. I like Highbeam because it seems to do the hard work for you. They have organized various topics so that the researcher can go to specific categories of interest as opposed to just typing their interests in Google and have a zillion and one options pop up! It is a bummer that their social media pages are out of date and that you have to pay a subscription in order to receive all the articles they have. But I suppose if your job was a researcher for a company or research was a major part of your job, a subscription would be definitely worth it!! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Alicia

    Question One:

    The first scenario could definitely be used as a news hook for a major airline to encourage customers to continue flying with them instead of using private planes. However, I can also see this being used to inform students looking to earn their pilot license. Publishing this information in a major publication for pilots, such as one of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s safety publications, could help to inform current and future pilots, and hopefully prevent a further increase in privately owned plane crashes.

    The news hook for corporate philanthropy being up 5% could be used by a publication such as Business Week to highlight the importance of giving back to the communities that these corporations are in. This information could be used by really any company that wants to improve its public image. A few corporations that come to mind locally are the motor companies in Detroit. Especially right now, I think that if they were to advertise an increase in philanthropy in the city of Detroit specifically, the major motor companies would gain a ton of public approval.

    For the proposed ban on handgun sales, depending on how strongly people in certain areas of the state feel about this, a pro-gun organization such as the National Rifle Association could take this information and run wild with it. I can see organizations like this making a case in a local daily about how this infringes on their Second Amendment rights.

    Any local college or university could use information about the shortage of qualified workers as a way to promote their school, especially if they have programs in the specific areas where qualified workers are needed. Companies that have job-specific training programs (especially companies that need service technicians and other trade professionals) could also use this as a way to promote their programs.

    Dealing with a nonprofit company facing bankruptcy is a difficult one to use as a news hook. However, since the company is going bankrupt because of mismanagement, this could be used as a way to promote a business management program at a local college. For example, if this nonprofit company went bankrupt in Ypsilanti, the College of Business (which just happens to be one of the top business schools in the state of Michigan) could use this as a way to promote their management program, as well as the other programs offered at the college.

    The last piece of information could be used as a news hook by a human rights organization like the American Civil Liberties Union as a way to raise awareness about the treatment of immigrants in the United States. I can’t really see any other type of organization looking into this, aside from maybe a law firm that focuses on human rights campaigns.

    1. akangas1

      In response to your thoughts about the hook for banning hand guns I completely agree that the NRA would love to get their hands on a story like this. Is there possibly a more interesting hook though? The NRA has been all over the stories about banning any form of rifle in recent years. Any time we recall a story we’ve heard about a public shooting or any kind of shooting for that matter we hear about banning and then what the NRA responds. With that in mind, can we get more creative with the angle of this hook? Maybe people in certain other organizations would be interested in this. There may be organizations of victims of gun use or support groups for people who have been effected by poor gun use. If we look at it from a few different standpoints we can find a lot more interesting stories and then people will respond to these different angles as well.

  10. Heidi

    Heidi
    Question 1

    1) I did some researching, and I think that the Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team or aviation safety classes could use the hook regarding the increase in crashes of privately owned small planes. I believe this because safety classes might add new material in order to better prepare people for flying. In addition, this news would also be a great way to help persuade people to enroll in safety classes because the facts would show a person could get seriously harmed and statistics of how many people have been injured due to crashes might be enough to increase enrollment in safety courses. However, I am also pretty certain that aviation insurance could use this news hook as well because the price of aviation insurance could be increased since there would seem to be more of a need for it since there has been an increase in the number of crashes.

    2) I think that car companies could use the news hook about corporate philanthropy rising to five percent because this may help them appeal to a wider audience and I think people would be more likely to buy a car from a specific company if they knew the company would also be giving back to the community. And this could be a great way for a car company who is down on sales to help increase sales because you could always turn a philanthropy effort into a Twitter event, such as we will match your donations to this charity or something similar to that.

    3) I would say that self-defense classes could really use the news hook about the State Legislature considering to place a ban on handgun sales because people will always want to protect themselves and so the concern would be protecting yourself when you are unable to buy a handgun for protection in case someone breaks into your house. However, this is a perfect news hook for martial arts classes because this would be a way in which people could still feel safe, and I believe the need for safety could really help drive people to take those classes.

    4) Well it would seem to me that there could be a lack of qualified workers because tuition raises each year, and so not everyone can afford college. But this also presents an opportunity for colleges to use this news hook to talk about scholarship opportunities.

    5) I think the National Association of Credit Management could use the news hook about a major non-profit facing bankruptcy due to mismanagement because they could provide tips on how to help your company avoid bankruptcy and there facts would support the argument that you need to be aware of your finances because they play a big role in the growth of an organization.

    6) I think the U.S. Department of Labor could use the news hook of local companies violating state law by hiring recent immigrants to do “piecework” in their homes at substandard wages.

  11. akangas1

    Option four: “Local companies are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers.”

    For this to be a newsworthy subject for a local daily I feel that it has to inspire some form of action. This might be a perfect subject for an organization of unemployed people. This type of story would have been very newsworthy specifically in Michigan a few years ago because the unemployment rate was astronomical. Even now, the story would still be valuable and newsworthy in Michigan because the unemployment rates have not decreased significantly by any means. With that in mind it could be a great “hook” for a story in an urban area of Michigan, perhaps in Ypsilanti, where there are plenty of people searching for jobs regularly. These people would see this article in a local daily and would jump at the opportunity to apply for said jobs because these companies need qualified workers and Ypsilanti may have these workers they are looking for. A story subject like this is not hard to pitch because people need jobs in most parts of the world, someone is always searching for a job, and when people hear that a company cannot find qualified workers, they may be inclined to look into it to at least see if they are what they company is looking for.

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