PR Writing Post 6

There are two parts to this week’s response.

1. Nike, Inc., has just introduced a new running shoe that collects energy released by each step and returns some of it to the wearer. These “high-tech” shoes, made with polyurethane and having compressed air sandwiched in the sole, represent a new “biomechanical design.” Using what you learned in chapter 7 think of a feature story idea for this product for each of the feature types covered in this chapter—case study, application story, research story, backgrounder, personality profile, and historical piece?

2. Using the guidelines in chapter 8, write a photo caption for the following situation. The picture shows two people and two collie dogs. One person is Dr. Ronald F. Jackson, former president of the American Heartworm Society. The other is Carolyn Matlock, owner of Teddy and Rose, the two collies. She is giving one dog a newly developed pill recently approved by the FDA to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. This medication, marketed by Merck & Co., is taken once a month. Prior to its development, the standard prescription was a daily pill. Dr. Jackson is petting one of the dogs.

  One thought on “PR Writing Post 6

  1. March 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    1. For the Nike, Inc. new running shoe, a case study feature story could focus on customers who have used the new shoes and have seen benefits in their workouts or running performance. The story would focus on three or four runners who have used the product, and would describe how their performance has changed or been enhanced since wearing the shoes. The runners could also discuss the comfort and wearability of the new design. An application story about the shoes would focus on why this Nike shoe is so much different than other running shoes and even other Nike brand running shoes by putting special attention on the shoe’s features. By focusing on and describing the return of energy to the wearer, the polyurethane, and the compressed air in the shoe, the article will show how this Nike shoe is advanced and innovative in the design and performance of running shoes.

    A research story could show the science behind the design and function of the new Nike shoe. The article would present scientific research about how the design and materials of the shoe allow energy to be returned to the user and how the “biomechanical design” improves performance. A backgrounder story could outline the development of Nike shoes up to this new design. The story would focus on the evolution of the Nike running shoe from its original shoe, and the progression in technology and design that has led to this new, high-tech shoe. A personality profile feature story could focus on a professional athlete (ideally a professional runner) and their use of the new Nike shoe. The story would talk about the importance that a running shoe has to a runner in determining their comfort and performance, and then would describe this runner’s personal experience with the shoe including quotes where the runner talks about how it has benefited him or her. The final type of feature story, a historical piece, could focus on this shoe as a celebration of Nike’s 50 year anniversary—the company was first founded as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964 (source: Similar to the format of a backgrounder story, the historical piece would focus on Nike’s development as a company and how the design and performance quality of their shoes has improved since Nike was first established.

    2. The following is a caption for the photo described above: Former president of the American Heartworm Society Dr. Ronald F. Jackson joins dog-owner Carolyn Matlock and her two collies—Teddy and Rose—as she gives Teddy a newly developed medicine for the prevention of heartworm disease in dogs. The recently FDA-approved pill, marketed by Merck & Co., requires a monthly dose; before it’s development, the standard prescription was a daily pill.

    • leahprodriguez
      March 5, 2014 at 11:44 am


      I like the idea for a feature story and how it would highlight the features of the new shoe. I think that by giving real life examples of customers who have tried the product, we would have credible support for telling why the shoe is so innovative. With the application story, I think that by telling why the shoe is so innovative with technology, you will get your point across with how drastic it compares to other brands. The advanced technology will be the key differential in comparing it to its competitors and build support for it being so advanced.

      I thought your photo caption was well worded. You did a good job at describing what was happening in the photo without sounding too overbearing with your words. You used the useful information from what was actually happening in the photo and summed it up properly.

    • March 6, 2014 at 1:18 am


      I thought it was extremely cool that you brought up Nike’s 50-year anniversary being this year. That fact alone is enough to generate publicity for the company. Nike is not only a household name, and a relatively accessible product. Using the release of the shoe as a sort of springboard into the company’s anniversary celebration could be a great way to generate press unique to the specific phase that the company is in.

      I also thought that your caption for the photo was very well written. I could visualize what was going on in the picture by simply reading the caption. I would credit this to how well you structured your sentences. They read clearly, yet weren’t monotonous or repetitive.


  2. leahprodriguez
    March 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    1. For the new Nike, Inc. shoe my case study would focus on Olympic runners who have tried the new shoe and describe how it has increased their athletic abilities through its new technology. The story could highlight the change in performance from the time before use compared to current use. Since the Olympics were recent, the use of an Olympic athlete would attract the readers to the new product.

    An application story could be about how a customer who do not use the Nike brand and decided to try out the new shoe has impacted their decision to purchase the brand more. I would focus on the new technology and compare it to competitors who also use technology in their shoes. This will show how the new Nike shoe is such an improvement for the technology of the Nike brand in comparison to other brands that lack the “high-tech” appeal.

    A research story could describe the process of developing the Polyurethane material used in the shoe and what the benefits should be from the air compressed sole. It would also tell us what ways the “biomechanical design” will ensure the collection of energy and how it returns it to the wearer.

    For a backgrounder, I would discuss the variety that Nike, Inc. brand offers with technology-based shoes. This will allow the readers to understand how the different shoes features offer different benefits from each shoe. It will also show the advancing evolution of their ever-changing technology and growth from the company.

    A personality profile could be tied in with the case study as a promotional campaign for the shoe. We could use the Olympic runner as an example for what benefits the shoe has had on the runner’s training outcome and performance.

    Lastly, for a historical piece, I would do timeline of shoes starting with the first design and ending with the new product. The timeline could have information on each shoe; the year it was made, its revenue and features that each shoe possessed. The story would concentrate mainly on the evolving technology as technology has been evolving in other aspects of the world.

    2. Dr. Ronald F. Jackson, former president of the American Heartworm Society joins Carolyn Matlock owner of two collies, Teddy and Rose, as she gives Rose a prescription to prevent heartworm disease. The medication is a newly developed pill marketed by Merck & Co. and was recently approved by the FDA that only needs to be taken once a month.

    • March 5, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      I like your use of the Olympians! It’s a trend right now so it is definitely something to capitalize on if they released it around the time of either Olympics. As for the applications, I like the idea of getting someone’s Nike transition story but I’m not a fan of directly comparing it to competitors. That opens up the doors for attacking which could be harmful to the shoe overall. The research way is a good way to explain the benefits of the shoe in a comprehensive way. Not everyone understands scientific terms so it would be cool to display it in other ways.
      For the backgrounder it’s nice to join the evolution of the company and the different features and benefits. It’s a cool way to introduce the shoe into the Nike family. I really like your use of incorporating a series into for the personality and case study. It would be really fun to work on both and have them tie together but still be two separate entities. Finally, for the historical piece it’s nice to see the different shoes that Nike has put out over the years. I included that in my post but I think it’s beneficial that you decided to focus on the evolving technology of the shoes.

    • March 6, 2014 at 12:02 am


      Good idea with the Olympic athletes! Didn’t even consider that angle. However, I think you’d have to be careful about how you approached it. Because it was the Winter Olympics there weren’t events (at least not that I am aware of, but I could be wrong) that involved much running. You could definitely still use Olympic athletes, but I would approach it from the angle of the shoe improving their pre-game training. Training programs are typically going to require running/cardio no matter the sport so you could emphasize how the shoe improved their training and thus, their performance.

      I also liked the idea for the backgrounder. With your idea, you are not only showcasing the features from the new Nike shoe, but also those from all of the types of footwear that you offer. In this way, you are able to “double-dip” on advertising and really promote all of our products.

    • March 6, 2014 at 1:26 am


      I thought your idea about highlighting the Olympic runners was excellent. Timeliness for this piece would be great with the Winter games just ending. Though there were no track events, the world is still in the “Olympic spirit” per say, and it would be a great time to release a product featuring Olympians of all sports. It could even be good to target athletes who are preparing to compete in the 2016 games in Rio. They are training now, preparing for qualifying events and competitions on both national and international scales. Now could be a great time to get the new names of those poised to go to the Olympics out to the public.

      I also liked how you lumped the case study and personality profile together. I’d like to see that idea developed more because I think it would be a great way to both humanize the product and promote how innovative the product is for athletes.


    • March 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm


      That is a good idea for the application story. I think it’s smart to focus on a person who doesn’t wear Nike to almost highlight the differences. That way, the story is being written like a before and after. The customer before the shoe, and after with all of the benefits and improvements in their life. Then there really would be no reason for anyone to not want to try Nike after seeing how much it has impacted a person’s life in a positive way.

  3. March 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    1.Case Study: This should center on a high school team who had the opportunity to try out the shoes. Most of Nike’s consumers are teams or other athletes (even at a middle/high school level). It can target the young people while still talking about all of the benefits that the new shoes has to offer.

    Application: Instead of focusing on Nike specifically, the application story could bring up different ways to work out in the new shoes. It could provide ways to work out so that the person training doesn’t hurt themselves.

    Research: If Nike focuses on specific sports then it would be really interesting for these shoes. They could do research and create a list of some of the most beautiful places to go for a run around the United States.

    Backgrounder: The backgrounder could be something along the lines of the history of the “Nike Shoe”. It can be sprinkled with photos and display the popular, “new and improved” versions over the years until it gets the most recent design.

    Personality Profile: Finding someone within the company who played a sport like basketball or soccer would be beneficial. Not only would the story be displayed but it would also humanize the “high tech” feel of the shoe to make it seem like it would fit for anyone.

    Historical Piece: If they plan the release of the shoe then it could go along with an anniversary of Nike. It would be like a birthday present to themselves. In that way it could even put it in the consumer’s minds that shoes are perfect for birthdays.

    2. Recently approved by the FDA, Merck & Co., developed a heart worm disease pill that will move the standard dose from daily to monthly. Dog owner, Carolyn Matlock believes it’s the right decision for her two collies.

    • leahprodriguez
      March 5, 2014 at 11:26 pm


      I love your idea for your case study on centering in on high school athletes. Nike has a large market for young people these days and focusing a story on young customers could help target in on this market. I like your idea for a research piece as well. I think everyone has focused the shoes on runners, so adding the creativity of the scenery for these runs or even hikes will appeal to different people interested in the shoes, such as women or people who are looking for the “next best thing” in regards to their healthy habits. I think your ideas are all good because you used different angles for each type of feature. This will be beneficial because you will have a lot of ideas to offer in terms of story pitching.

      • March 5, 2014 at 11:41 pm

        Thanks Leah! The different angles thing is something that I tried hard to do. I didn’t want the same thing over and over and this way just shoes the versatility of the shoe.

    • March 6, 2014 at 12:10 am


      Love the high school team idea! This is especially useful because I think that teens are a big demographic that purchase Nike footwear. By using teenagers in the commercial, teens will better relate to the product and are more likely to want to purchase it. I also mentioned the anniversary of Nike for a historical piece idea. I like your idea of taking it from a “birthday present” angle. If you did that, you would be able to say something like “Nike gifts itself with it’s best shoe yet for it’s 50th birthday” or something along those lines. Your idea of a birthday present puts emphasize on the high-tech design and quality of the shoe as being something worth gifting for such an important birthday.

      I like that in your picture comment you write that the dog owner believes it’s the right choice for her collies. This encourages readers to approve of the pill and presents it positively, rather than just announcing that it is a new pill on the market.

    • March 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      I think your idea for a personality profile would be interesting. It would be more interesting if you could find someone who was not only an athlete, but also somehow contributed to the making of the new shoes. It’s a really great idea. I also think your research story idea could also be used as an application story.
      The case study idea is really great. Most people wouldn’t notice that usually in team sports they all have the same or similar shoes, so I think it’s great that you noticed that and you found a way to use it.

    • March 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm


      I was actually thinking the same thing about using a highschool team to test the shoe! As a previous cross country runner, I can definitely think of some times where I needed some more energy. However, one thing I am thinking about it using these shoes during races might get the team into trouble. Hypothetically speaking of course, but I know that when I used to run they were very strict about brands being out and as well as other various rules for clothing. I think that Nike would definitely run in to some problems with people wearing these shoes during actual races, almost like people taking steroids to improve their performance. That’s why I think it’s best to focus on showing people wearing these shoes during everyday situations and if it is a team, during practice only.

      • March 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm

        I didn’t even think about that aspect! Yea it would be cool for students to wear the shoes but you’re right about the sporting event rules. Even if there aren’t specific rules and restrictions, then there may be some ethical objections. Those are definitely key points to look at!

  4. March 6, 2014 at 1:09 am

    1. A great case study for this product could be to do a feature on a well-known athlete that has not been previously endorsed by Nike—the athlete should not be endorsed by Nike The feature would talk about the way the new biomechanical design aided in the athlete’s training, made them faster, stronger, or lessened impact on their joints.

    An application story for the shoe could involve making a list of 10 HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises that could be optimized by using the new Nike shoe. The shoe isn’t meant for style, but for function, and many people that wear the shoe are looking for just that.

    A research feature study could involve surveying people on their New Year’s resolutions to begin working out and how many people actually stick to them during the year. The article could promote the product as a motivational tool to push people to pick their resolutions back up. The new technology is designed to act as a type of “spring board” for the wearer, and with spring coming up, it could be a great time to produce a story like this.

    A backgrounder for the new shoe could involve looking at the way Nike has designed its shoes over time to optimize athletes’ performance. Nike has always been on the cutting edge of shoe design and technology, and is a relatively accessible brand. This story would increase brand equity, strengthen brand commitment for existing consumers, and generate a fresh customer base by advertising the new product.

    A personality profile could highlight a Nike endorsed athlete. The story would feature how the athlete came to know and love Nike products while building their career and developing their personal and athletic identity.

    A historical piece could feature the new shoe technology as the new baseline for all Nike running shoes. This would position Nike at the forefront of shoe technology development as well as promote the new shoe to the public.

    2. Collie owner Carolyn Matlock gives one of her dogs Merck & Co.’s newly developed heartworm prevention medication while Dr. Ronald F. Jackson, former president of the American Heartworm society president, pets the other. The FDA recently approved the new drug, which reduces the frequency of the dose from daily to monthly.

    • March 6, 2014 at 8:30 am


      I thought your idea for the case study was nice but I love the application story! It really capitalizes on the HIIT trend that has been going on for a while. It’s great because it talks about a specific workout that is enhanced by Nike but it doesn’t just promote the shoes. For the research story, I think if you wanted it to be released in the spring, then it could be tailored more towards a “Are you keeping up to your New Year’s Resolution? If not, then spring back into action. I really like hoe you are merging the different seasons of a year. I think the majority of our class so far posted a look over time for the backgrounder. Even if every one of us does that then I still think they would come out different. For the personality profile, you could also include a child that that celebrity has affected or plans to. The presence of a youth sometimes softens hearts and tugs at emotional strings.

      As for the photo caption, I like it but I feel like it may be description based. I’m not positive that the reader needs to know exactly who the random guy is and that he is petting Matlock’s dog. Other than that, I think it’s pretty nice.

    • March 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      I really like your case study idea, especially the part about it being someone who isn’t already endorsed by Nike. I think that just makes it seem more believable and lets people know that this isn’t just some shoe that they’re trying to get an athlete to sell. Your application story idea is just brilliant. I see articles like that all the time for cardio workouts, yoga poses and I am always tempted to buy whatever it is they say will optimize my workout so I think it’s perfect.

      I think your caption should include something about the former president of the American Heartworm Society, but other than that I think it works.

    • April 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I like that you included that the athlete featured in your case isn’t endorsed by Nike. It would give your story a sense of authenticity that wouldn’t be there had it been an athlete endorsed. If you included an endorsed athlete, it would seem like more of an advertisement than a journalistic story. Especially a big company like Nike, they seem to be shoving themselves into everything, turning everything into a publicity stunt, it would be a breath of fresh air to have a genuine story written about a product.

      Though after this story, this athlete would probably end up being endorsed by Nike!

  5. March 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    1. For a case study, we could have a group of cross country runners could wear the shoes for a period of time and then they can talk about how the shoes have changed their running experience and their opinions on the appearance, comfort and structure.

    An application story could focus on how these shoes are beneficial to those that don’t run. Wearing the shoes when you’re walking up the steps or walking uphill. Even though they’re running shoes, they can be worn for everyday activities and function the same way.

    Nike makes shoes for a number of sports, so for a historical piece it would be important to concentrate on the history behind it’s running shoes. The main point would be to talk about how NIke has gotten where they are today with their running shoes.

    I think it would be a great idea to have a profile story about the main developer. It would be interesting to know who is behind this amazing technology, especially if they’ve been a player in other major shoe developments.

    The research story would focus on the technology. It would be important to explain how the biomechanical design works, how they came up with the design, and what some of the first prototypes looked like.

    2. Carolyn Matlock, owner of the two collies, gives her dog a newly developed and FDA approved heartworm pill from Merck & Co., with the support of former AHS president, Dr. Ronald F. Jackson.

    • April 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      I enjoyed the fact that most of your story ideas were focused on the average person’s use for these shoes. Though the glamour of celebrity tesimonials are appealing (“If this product is good enough for Justin Verlander, it’s good enough for me!”) celebrities aren’t who the target market for the product is. Olympic runners will run well regardless of what kind of shoes they’re wearing. I know that investing in these shoes won’t make me qualified for the Olympics. But when I read a story about a 20-something trying to start an exercise regimen and start a healthy lifestyle, and these shoes help, I can relate a lot more, and I’d actually be more apt to buy.

  6. March 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    1. For the case study story, it would be about four different people. The average every day runner, the marathon runner, the cross country runner on a local team, and a person who doesn’t particularly run at all but needs some more energy throughout their day. It would follow each of their stories and how it benefitted them. This story would aim to show just how versatile this shoe is for virtually everyone.
    For the application story, it would focus on testimonials from wearers everywhere. In order to make this effective, it would include quotes from people in every walk of life and how there is no other shoe out there like it. It would list all of the benefits as well as describe how the shoe works for the wearer.
    For the research story, it would again use some of the testimonials from the application story but it would have the scientific research to back it up. There would be a quote included from the creator of the Nike shoe directly describing just how innovative this shoe really is.
    For the backgrounder, the story would explain how Nike shoes have evolved over the years as well as comparing it to all the other shoes out there and how this shoe is superior. By showing the growth over the years of the company and the shoe, it is almost like a “before and after” by showing how far that they have come with this shoe.
    For the personality profile, it would be about an average person’s experience with the shoe. Nike would hold a contest where everyone could enter to become the face of the shoe. By making this shoe for virtually everyone, it makes it more marketable. The winner would ideally be someone who runs regularly as well as working a 9-5 job and possibly kids. This type of person would need the energy and would be great to write the story about.
    For the historical piece, it would focus on Nike’s success over the years and the development of the shoe and the brand itself. It would include a timeline with pictures of a shoe to represent each year and show the progress of the development, finally ending with the shoe that changes everything in 2014.
    2. Caption: Once a month heartworm disease pill from Merk & Co. is a major breakthrough for dog owner’s everywhere

  7. April 1, 2014 at 11:51 am

    For the case study, I would feature athletes who have used this new shoe. They could talk about what they like about it and how it compares to other shoes they’ve used. For the application story, I could use those same athletes and the angle would be more about what they can do now that they have these shoes, rather than what they like about them. The research story would have a lot more technical talk. I would talk to the scientists that developed them. They would discuss what the need was and how much more effective these shoes are than past models. The backgrounder can focus on an athlete that sustained a prior injury, and how this new shoe design has made it possible for them to continue playing/running/etc. again. The personality profile could use the same celebrities from the case study and application story, but have a more personable angle. It would look more into their personal life with training with these new shoes than exactly why they use them. Finally, for the historical piece, the story could start with Nike’s inception in 1964, and highlight all of the big accomplishments and groundbreaking designs throughout the years, ending with these new shoes.

    Caption: “Dr. Ronald F. Jackson, former president of the American Heartworm Society plays with Teddy and Rose, Carolyn Matlock’s two collies. Matlock is looking forward to the collies’ long life, thanks to the new heartworm pill, recently approved by the FDA.”

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