Get Write To It

The toughest thing about writing a news release is getting started. But writing doesn't have to be hard. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you beat writer's block.

Before the story, think about:

? audience. who do I want (or expect) to read this? What do they want to know? What do I want them to know?

? "gatekeepers." These are usually the editors who will decide if they will use your story. What kind of story do they normally use? How long? Style?

If you just can't get the first word down on paper, here are some things to try.

? Talk to someone about your story. Listen to yourself. Write the story like you told it. You can always rearrange sentences or paragraphs later.

? Go through your notes. Star the things you think are most important. Then try to start a story with at least one or two of those important things in the first sentences.

? Write the headline first. Then make sure your first paragraph or two says essentially the same thing as the headline.

? Try being childlike. How do kids tell a story? They blurt it out, getting to the point fast with plenty of action verbs.

? Plagiarize, sort of. If you see something written that you like, borrow the idea, but not word-for-word. I'm especially talking about borrowing ideas of style.

Now you have the tools to bust writer's block. Get write to it.

About the author: Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR, He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Duke Energy, Levolor, North Carolina Tourism, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX and Verbatim.

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